Pushing Farm Planters Full Out

USDA crop progress report shows some pockets are getting plenty of crops in ahead of schedule.

Published on: Apr 18, 2012

Now that any holds on planting - caused by crop insurance restrictions - have come off in most areas, the planters are rolling. USDA Crop Progress Data, released a day late due to a fire at the agency Monday, shows that some states are setting new land-speed records with planters for corn.

For example, for the latest report through April 15, Illinois reports 41% of its corn crop is planted. Iowa lags due to continued wet weather with only 5% reported in the ground.

Other hot spots in the Corn Belt include Kansas with 18% planted (average for this time of year is 9%), Kentucky with 59% planted, Missouri with 39%. Warmer states - including Tennessee (80% planted) and Texas (54% planted) are doing well. However, that Texas number is actually below the average for this time of year.

PUSHING THE ENVELOPE: Where weather is drier, planters are piling up the acres.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE: Where weather is drier, planters are piling up the acres.

On average for the 18 states with corn plantings, 17% of the corn is planted which is three times the 5% for the five-year average.

Spring wheat planting is also ahead of schedule with 37% of that crop in for the six key states versus a five year average of 9%. South Dakota reports 83% of its spring wheat is in the ground, versus a 13% five year average. Other fast-starters including Idaho at 48%, Minnesota at 56%, Montana at 23%; North Dakota at 27% and Washington at 30%.

For cotton, the crop is moving into the ground a little ahead of average. Arizona, Louisiana and Texas are all ahead of schedule. For the 15 selected cotton states reported, 13% of the crop is in versus a five-year average of 9%.

Sorghum is on schedule matching the five-year average of 18% through last week. Several states report little planting so far.

Sugar beets are ahead of schedule too with 41% of the crop planted versus the five-year average of 14%. Michigan farmers have planted 98% of their crop already, Idaho has 75% of its beets planted and Minnesota is also running ahead with 24% planted.

For rice, the crop is in well early, and is emerging. The data shows that for the six rice reporting states, 27% of the crop has emerged, versus 13% for the average. The crop is 50% emerged in Louisiana; 40% in Texas 35% in Mississippi; 30% in Arkansas and 28% in Missouri.