USDA reports that 96% of corn acres have been planted as of June 4. Of the18 states that accounted for 92% of corn acreage in 2016, only one, Pennsylvania at 82% of corn in the ground, was not in the 90% range. The two largest corn-producing states, Iowa and Illinois, are both at 98% of acres planted.

Overall, 96% of U.S. corn acreage was planted as of last Sunday. This compares to 91% a week earlier, 97% a year ago and the 5-year average of 97%. According to the ag agency, 86% of this year’s corn crop has emerged vs. 73% on May 28, 88% a year earlier and the 5-year average of 87%.

In terms of condition of the corn crop so far, USDA estimates 58% is in “good” condition (61% on June 4, 2016), and 10% is in “excellent” condition (14% on June 4, 2016). Of the remaining acres, 26% of the crop is rated as “fair” (21% last year) and the remaining 6% is considered to be in “poor” or “very poor” condition.

For soybeans, 83% was in the ground as of last Sunday. This compares with 82% a year ago on this date and the 5-year average of 79%. A week earlier, on May 28, 67% of soybean acreage has been planted.

USDA’s most recent report shows that 58% of soybean acres are emerged, up 21% from the prior week. At this point a year ago, 62% of soybean had emerged and the 5-year average for this date is 59%.

No condition report has yet been issued for soybeans so far this year.

How to Use USDA’s Crop Condition Ratings

Each week Farm Equipment publishes a brief summary of USDA’s Crop Progress report to keep our readers up to date on the conditions of corn and soybean crops. Recently, ag economists at the University of Illinois published an interesting report entitled, “How Should We Use Within-Season Crop Condition Ratings for Corn and Soybeans?” The report examined the relationship between corn and soybean crop condition ratings at various times in the growing season and the U.S. average yield in order to determine when during the season we should pay serious attention to the ratings to form yield expectations.