Though corn planting started off like a hare, Mother Nature has now slowed it to a tortoise’s pace.
According to the USDA’s latest Crop Progress report, 92 percent of the nation’s corn has been planted as of May 24. Though this is higher than the five-year average of 88 percent and last year’s pace of 86 percent, it is lower than initially expected at this time of the season.
Compared to last year, Colorado (66 percent) and Texas (77 percent) are bringing up the rear of the top corn-producing states, reporting progress 26 and 19 percentage points respectively behind last year’s pace.
Nationally 74 percent of corn has now emerged, 12 percentage points above the five-year average and 18 percentage points ahead of 2014’s report.
The USDA also began reporting corn conditions for the first time this season, showing just 3 percent of the nation’s corn is in poor or worse condition. At this time last year, around 2 percent of corn was in this condition.
Looking at corn conditions in a state-by-state basis, Kansas has the highest percentage of corn in poor or worse condition, reported at 9 percent. Texas is a close second with 8 percent of corn in these conditions.
Further to the north and east, however, conditions are much improved. Ohio has the best corn in the country with 87 percent in very good or better condition. Other states reporting impressive corn conditions include Kentucky (85 percent), Pennsylvania (83 percent), North Dakota (82 percent) and Wisconsin (81 percent).
Soybeans: 61 percent planted
As seen with corn, the states falling furthest behind in soybean planting are those that have received the most rain in recent weeks. Kansas (20 percent) and Missouri (43 percent) are 34 percentage points and 37 percentage points behind last year’s progress. Other states reporting soybean planting behind their 2014 reports include Nebraska (59 percent), Iowa (70 percent) and Arkansas (56 percent).
Not all states are struggling against Mother Nature, however. Michigan (76 percent), Minnesota (44 percent) and Ohio (39 percent) are each at least 39 percentage points ahead of last year’s report.
Currently 32 percent of the country’s soybeans have now emerged, compared to 23 percent last year and the five-year average of 25 percent.