Market News & Headlines >> Corn Planting Slogs Along at Record Slow Pace

U.S. corn planting continued to progress at the slowest pace in at least 40 years last week and soybean planting fell further behind as wet conditions again kept many producers out of their fields. 

USDA estimated that only 58% of the U.S. corn crop had been planted by Sunday, up just 9 percentage points from a week earlier and down sharply from the five-year average of 90%. Trade expectations for planting progress averaged 63% in a range from 59%-68%, according to a Reuters News Service survey. 

Progress remains extremely slow in four states, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and South Dakota. Illinois was just 35% planted, 60 points behind five-year average; with Indiana 22% planted, 63 points behind average. Ohio was also 22% planted, 56 points behind the average pace, while S. Dakota was 25% planted, 65 points below average. Wisconsin and Michigan are also far behind on planting. 

USDA estimated that only 32% of the U.S. corn crop had emerged as of Sunday, versus the five-year average of 69%. Only 20% of the Illinois crop had emerged versus an average pace of 84%, while just 10% of the Indiana crop had emerged versus an average pace of 65%. Crop emergence was put at just 2% in South Dakota, 7% in Michigan and 8% in both Ohio and North Dakota. 

USDA estimated that 29% of the U.S. soybean crop had been planted by Sunday, up 10 percentage points from a week earlier, but well behind the five-year average of 66%. Trade estimates of soybean planting progress averaged 31%. The pace was the third slowest in USDA records dating back to 1980, behind 1995 and 1990. 

Planting progress was more than 40 percentage points behind the five-year average in four of the top five growing states. At 32% planted, the top growing state of Iowa was 45 points behind average, while Illinois at only 14% planted was 56 points behind. Minnesota, at 35% planted, was 42 points behind and Indiana, at just 11% planted, was 52 points behind. The state with the least progress, though, was S. Dakota, at 6% planted, 58 points below normal. 

USDA estimated that just 11% of the soybean crop had emerged as of Sunday, versus 44% last year and the five-year average of 35%. Crop emergence was below 10% in 10 of the 18 states USDA includes in its U.S. crop progress calculations, with zero emergence reported in South Dakota and only 3% of the crop emerged in both Minnesota and Indiana.