USDA Crop Progress: Corn Nears the Finish Line

May 30th, 2018


Category: Commentary, Grains, Miscellaneous

( –  Corn emergence in 2018 is also slightly ahead, at 72%. The pace this time a year ago was at 70%; the five-year average is 69%. The crop is at least 50% emerged in every major corn production state except for Pennsylvania (32%) North Dakota (34%), Michigan (40%) and Wisconsin (48%).


USDA began tracking corn crop condition this past week, too – and the agency thinks this year’s crop is off to a strong start, with 16% of the crop rated excellent and another 63% rated good. That total good-to-excellent rating of 79% was significantly higher than industry expectations of 72% and 2017’s start of 65%.


Another 18% of the crop is rated fair at this time, with just 3% rated poor or very poor.


Soybean planting progress, now at 77% complete, is even further along last year’s pace of 65% and the five-year average of 62%. Soybean emergence is also tracking ahead, with 47% this year versus 34% in 2017 and a five-year average of 32%. Seven states have already passed the halfway mark for soybean planting, including Arkansas (77%), Illinois (75%), Indiana (63%), Louisiana (92%), Mississippi (79%), Missouri (52%) and Nebraska (53%).


The winter wheat crop is also progressing physiologically, with 73% of the crop now heading. That’s not significantly behind the pace from a year ago (79%) or the five-year average (75%).


Crop quality continues to edge higher as well, according to USDA, with 38% of the crop rated good to excellent, versus 36% the week prior. Large portions of the winter wheat crop continue to struggle, meantime, with 28% rated fair, 20% poor and 14% very poor.


Spring wheat planting is nearly complete this year, reaching 91% as of May 27. That’s slightly ahead of the five-year average of 89%, but still can’t match 2017’s pace of 95%. Of that, 63% of the crop is emerged.


Here are some more crop progress updates of note:

Barley – 93% planted (up from 81% a week ago)

Oats – 94% planted (versus a five-year average of 95%)

Sorghum – 49% planted (slightly ahead of the five-year average of 44%)

Cotton – 62% planted (up from 52% last week)

Pasture and range condition – 49% good-to-excellent (versus 46% last week)



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