Spring has sprung, and in farm country, planters are rolling. And according to the latest weekly crop progress report, they’ve been rolling a bit faster than analysts predicted.
Corn’s progress has reached 27%, with a fifth of the entire crop planted during the week ending April 26, per USDA. That’s more than double 2019’s dismal pace of 12% and moderately ahead of the prior five-year average of 20%. Analysts were expecting a more modest climb, with an average trade guess of 22%.
Of the top 18 production states, USDA says only North Dakota and Pennsylvania lack any measurable progress. Southern states continue to lead the way, including Texas (67%), North Carolina (62%) and Kentucky (44%). Some northern states made tremendous progress this past week – most notably Minnesota, which went from 1% a week ago up to 40%. Iowa made a similar jump, moving from 2% to 39%.
Just 3% of the 2020 corn crop is emerged, meantime. That’s a point better than 2019’s pace of 2% but a point behind the prior five-year average of 4%.
Soybean planting progress was more in line with analyst estimates, reaching 8% this past week. That’s up from the prior week’s tally of 2% and well ahead of both 2019’s pace of 2% and the prior five-year average of 4%. Louisiana has a third of its soybean acres in the ground. Mississippi is not far behind, reaching 30%. All of the top 18 production states except for North Dakota have some measurable progress reported.
Spring wheat is coming along more sluggishly than analysts expected, reaching 14% completion this week versus an average trade guess of 18%. That’s still double the prior week’s tally of 7% and ahead of last year’s pace of 11%. The prior five-year average is much higher, meantime, at 29%. Another 4% of the crop is now emerged.
More than a fifth (21%) of the 2019/20 winter wheat crop is now headed, up from 14% a week ago and ahead of last year’s pace of 16%. The prior five-year average is 25%.
From a quality standpoint, crop ratings stumbled another three points to land at 54% in good-to-excellent conditions. Analysts had expected USDA to hold quality ratings steady from a week ago. Another 31% of the crop is rated fair (up a point from last week), with the remaining 15% rated poor or very poor (up two points from last week).
Click here to read the latest USDA crop progress report in its entirety.