Pushing Farm Planters Full Out

Pushing Farm Planters Full Out

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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