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May 5, 2020

U.S. Corn Planting 51% Complete, Soy 23%, both Ahead of Average

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

It's amazing how much U.S. farmers can plant in a short period of time and that was evident again last week. The 2020 U.S. corn is 51% planted compared to 21% last year and 39% average. This represents an advance of 24% last week. It was dryer last week in the western Corn Belt and wetter in the eastern Corn Belt with some of the fastest corn planting in Iowa at 78% (46% average) and Minnesota at 76% (36% average).

The eastern Corn Belt received the most rain last week with parts of Illinois receiving upwards of 4-5 inches. There is more rain in the forecast for this week as well as cooler temperatures, so there will be some slower planting in the eastern Corn Belt. The corn in Illinois is 56% planted (54% average), Indiana is 33% (26% average), and Ohio is 10% (20% average).

You always hope to have 50% of the corn planted by about May 7-8-9-10 and farmers achieved that earlier than normal this year by hitting 50% probably on May 2nd. The corn is 8% emerged compared to 5% last year and 10% average.

The 2020 U.S. soybean crop is 23% planted compared to 5% last year and 11% average. The soybean planting is more advanced in the western Corn Belt with Iowa 46% planted (9% average), Minnesota is 35% (10% average), and Nebraska is 32% (10% average). Soybean planting is slowest in the eastern Corn Belt with Ohio 7% planted (6% average), Indiana is 22% (9% average), and Illinois is 31% (12% average).

Planting in the mid-South and the northern Delta is mixed and planting in the Dakotas is just getting started.

By any measure, the spring planting is off to a good start. The corn is already 51% panted, which is 12% ahead of average. The corn emergence is 8%, which is more in line with the average of 10%. The cooler temperatures this week will keep the corn emergence a little slower than average.

The western Corn Belt is doing especially well while the far eastern Corn Belt is a little slow. I would like to see warmer temperatures, but it looks like the first half of May is going to be cooler than normal especially in the eastern Corn Belt. While the planting is well ahead of average, the emergence is probably going to be a little slower than average given the cooler temperatures forecasted for this week. There might even be a frost in some areas of the northern Corn Belt, but the growing point of the corn is still below ground, so I don't foresee much frost damage.