USDA released a new report on Monday, May 9. Corn planting progress as of May 8 was much higher than expected at 40% complete. Expectations were for planting to be about 30% complete. Corn planting progress increased by 27 points from a week ago, which is above the normal 20-point increase. However, planting is still below the ten-year average of 63% and is the third slowest planting pace in the last 26 years. The most serious planting delays are now focused in the eastern Corn Belt states of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. USDA reported its first soybean planting update at 7% complete. The delays in planting other crops, mainly corn, have slowed the soybean planting progress. Last year progress was at 28%. The ten-year average is at 19%. The week ahead normally sees 15% of the soybean acreage planted, which would lift the national number to 22%. That may be the upper limit for additional progress with continuing delays in corn, rice, cotton, and spring wheat dictating that those crops be planted first.
USDA reported spring wheat seeding at only 22% complete nationally. This is amongst the slowest ever. In the mid 1990s, progress was about 25% complete for the date in each of 1995, 1996, and 1997. Last year seedings were at 65%. The ten-year average is at 61%. Cotton planting progress increased 8 points from last week to 26% complete. That progress trails last year at 34% and versus the 10-year average at 39%. Texas is at 24%, 3 points behind the ten-year average at 27%. The historic flooding in the Delta remains an impediment to progress. Rice planting advanced by 8 points last week to 57% complete. Plantings last year totaled 83% and the ten-year average is at 77%. At least since 1994, this is the slowest progress on the record.
The winter wheat condition rating declined one point to 33% good to excellent. That is the lowest rating for the week since 1996 when it was at 27%. The rating is well off of last year at 66% and from the ten-year average at 49%.