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USDA: Corn, soybean plantings surge beyond average pace

Agriculture.com Staff 05/21/2007 @ 3:11pm

Corn- and soybean-planting farmers still have the pedal to the metal, and it shows. What's more, now Mother Nature's doing her part to speed along the crops' development.

Farmers' planting progress showed in last week's USDA Crop Progress report -- which brought the planting pace from sluggish to average -- continued in the last seven days, as both corn and soybean plantings surged ahead of the average pace.

The USDA-NASS released its weekly Crop Progress report Monday afternoon. The numbers show that farmers have been busy this past week, not only staying on planting pace, but surpassing it. As of Sunday, 92% of the nation's corn crop was planted, up from 78% a week ago and just above the previous five-year average of 86%. This marks a second straight week of double-digit planting progress.

Mother Nature joined farmers in speeding things along this last week, taking corn emergence also beyond average. Total corn emergence took huge strides in the last seven days, going from 39% on May 13 to 67% yesterday. This compares to the previous five-year average of 56%.

Both soybean plantings and emergence fared as well as corn this past week as well, as 59% of the crop was planted as of yesterday, compared to the 48% average pace. This almost doubles the 32% progress as of last Sunday, May 13. Emergence is almost three times what it was a week ago, going from six to 21% over the last seven days. Sunday's emergence is three percentage points ahead of the previous five-year average.

The rice, winter wheat, cotton, sorghum, peanuts, spring wheat, barley, oats and sunflower crops, as indicated in Monday's NASS report, are all at or near average progress pace for this week of the year. Winter wheat conditions improved slightly over the previous week, with 59% of the crop rated good to excellent compared to 58% a week ago. One year ago, 30% of the corn crop was rated in similar condition.

As of this week's report -- the first of the season to indicate corn conditions -- 78% of the corn crop is rated in good to excellent shape. This compares to 66% in good to excellent condition the same week a year ago.

Corn- and soybean-planting farmers still have the pedal to the metal, and it shows. What's more, now Mother Nature's doing her part to speed along the crops' development.

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