Market News & Headlines >> U.S. Corn Planting Far Behind Normal

U.S. corn planting fell further schedule last week as producers were only able to seed another 7% of their intended acreage, according to Monday afternoon’s USDA Crop Progress report. 

USDA pegged U.S. corn planting progress as of May 12 at 30%, 29 percentage points below last year and less than half the five-year average pace of 66%. Progress was 5 percentage points below the average of trade expectations in a Reuters News Service survey of 14 analysts. Meanwhile, only 10% of the U.S. crop had emerged , compared with 25% last year and the average pace of 29%. 

The U.S. planting pace was the slowest for the date since 2013 and the fourth slowest on record in USDA data going back to 1982. Planting progress was below the five-year average in all 18 corn states that USDA uses to calculate its national progress estimate. 

The planting pace was the slowest on record going back to 1979 in several key corn growing states, including No. 2 producer Illinois, where planting progress advanced just 1 percentage point last week to 11% complete compared with a five-year average of 82%. Indiana planting progress of 6% was also the lowest on record, as was Ohio progress at only 4%, while South Dakota progress of 4% was the lowest since 1995. 

In the top corn growing state of Iowa, producers had planted 48% of their crop compared with an average pace of 76%, with Nebraska corn 46% planted versus an average of 72%, while in Minnesota, 21% of the crop was in the ground against an average of 65%. 

U.S. soybean planting also fell behind schedule last week, with USDA estimating that only 9% of the crop had been planted by Sunday, versus 32% last year and the five-year average of 29%.   

Soybean planting was barely underway in several key producing states with only 3% of the crop in the ground in No. 2 Illinois compared with the average pace of 34%. Minnesota soybean acreage was also only 3% planted versus an average of 36%, while progress was put at just 2% in Indiana and Ohio.  Planting had not yet begun in South Dakota. 

Producers in the top soybean state of Iowa had 13% of their crop in the ground versus an average pace of 31%, while Nebraska producers had planted 20% of their crop compared with the average of 32%.