Concerns that late planting could put a crimp in crop yields come harvest time, but corn and soybean farmers made up some serious ground last week.

USDA reports that 62% of corn acres were planted as of May 13. This compares with 68% last year at this time and the 5 year average of 63%. Missouri was at 91% planted, Illinois 90%, Indiana 73%, Nebraska 72% and Iowa 65%. Wet weather is hampering Minnesota growers from getting in their fields and only 40% of their corn acres are planted vs. 77% a year ago.

At this point 28% of the corn crop is emerged and this compares with 8% a week earlier and the 5 year average of 27%.

Some 35% of soybean acres were planted as of May 13, which puts growers ahead of both last year (29%) and the 5 year average of 26% for this date. Only 15% of the soybean crop had been planted a week earlier.

One farmer in western Illinois told us, “A late spring but then two consecutive weeks of perfect weather” and his corn and soybeans are up and out of the ground.

Mark McNeely, managing editor of No-Till Farmer was traveling in Indiana last week visiting farmers and summarized planting conditions there.

  • A grower in Mariah Hill, Ind., (far southern part of the state) had just completed corn at 10:30 on Tuesday and was going to get after soybeans on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • In Coatesville, Ind., (west of Indianapolis), the grower there had both corn and soybeans in the ground, having planted the week of April 30. Both corn and soybeans were just starting to emerge.
  • In New Palestine, Ind., (east of Indianapolis) the grower had just finished corn and beans on May 5-6. His soybeans were spouting underground at about ¼ inch. “We dug some up.”
  • In Warsaw, Ind., (north central part of the state) the farmer finished his corn and beans the week of April 30 and the beans were sprouting at about 1-2 inches.

“To a person, they said they were about one week behind schedule, but nobody was too worried because they had a good mix of moisture and warmer weather at planting,” McNeely reports.