Warm, dry weather last week allowed growers to make significant corn planting progress. With 19 percent of the U.S. corn crop now planted, progress is ten points ahead of the 5-year average and 14 points above the slow, wet 2009 planting season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Monday afternoon.

For the full report, click here.

“It’s great to see such great progress in the first half of April, after two years of delayed planting and an especially difficult harvest last year,” said NCGA President Darrin Ihnen, a South Dakota grower. “We’re excited about the possibility of the 2010 crop shattering last year’s production record and providing corn to help feed and fuel the world.”

USDA’s April 18 survey shows that between April 11 and 18, the planting progressed rapidly in several states. Tennessee saw a 44 point increase in acreage planted, while North Carolina corn plantings increased by 39 points. This was followed by 33 percent of the corn in Illinois and 31 percent in Missouri.

Click here for a chart of state information.

USDA estimates that farmers will plant 88.8 million acres of field corn this year. If realized, acres planted would be up by three percent from both last year and 2008. The April 19 report indicates that in the 18 leading corn producing states, 15.359 million acres of corn were planted as of the week ending April 18. The first government projection of 2010 yield, harvest acres and corn production will be released on May 11.