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Mapping Out the Good, Bad, and Ugly of #Plant19

Monday's USDA Crop Progress Report brought more discouraging news to farmers across the Midwest. Cool, wet weather made for another challenging week of planting season. Corn farmers in the U.S. are further behind in planting progress than they ever have been.

The most recent report, released on Monday, May 20, pegged U.S. corn planting at 49% complete. The five-year average is 80%. Naturally, corn emergence is also behind pace. The report showed just 19% of U.S. corn has emerged compared with the five-year average of 49%.

Soybean planting progress also trails the 5-year pace. Only 19% of the soybean crop has been planted compared with the five-year average of 47% for this point in the season.

Here's a closer look Iowa Mesonet maps that show continued cold and wet conditions that have slowed planting progress nationally.


Historically, Iowa leads the nation in corn production. In 2018, farmers in the Hawkeye State produced 2,508,800,000 bushels of corn and had an average yield of 196 bushels per acre. As the cold and wet planting conditions persist, those numbers grow less likely for 2019.

Warren County lead the state in precipitation toal from May 12 to May 19 (the same seven day period examined in the Crop Progress Report). 3.96 inches of precipitation was recorded there. It rained across the state last week, with many counties recieving more than two inches.

Iowa precipitation totals map 5-19-19.
Iowa Mesonet

To make matters worse, a lot of the state was cooler than average for this time of year. East central Iowa was more than 8 degrees cooler than average compared to years past.

Iowa temperature departure map from 5-19-19
Iowa Mesonet

At this point in the season last year 83% of the corn crop was in the ground. This season, 70% of the state's corn crop has been planted. Soybean progress in the state stands at 27%, significantly lower than the five-year average of 55%, but progress from the 13% recorded in the May 12 report.


In 2018, Illinois farmers harvested 2,278,500,000 bushels of corn and led the nation in average yield with 210 bushels per acre. Weather in Illinois has also been unfavorable for planting progress over the last week.

Whiteside, Henry, and Rock Island counties in Illinois got a good bit of rain over 7 days, around 2 inches. Like Iowa, it looks like everyone in the state got some rain.

Illinois precipitation total map from 5-19-19
Iowa Mesonet

There are lots of shades of red on the Illinois temperature departure map. The red indicates below average temperatures for this point in the season. These cool temperatures are another factor in why Illinois farmers have just 24% of corn planted and 9% of soybeans. The 5-year average is 89% and 51%, respecitvely. So far, 11% of the corn crop has emerged.

Illinois temperature departure map from 5-19-19
Iowa Mesonet


The state of Nebraska ranks third in corn production. Last year farmers in the state harvested 1,787,520,000 bushels of corn. Their average yield was 192 bushels per acre. The 2019 planting season in the Cornhusker state started with devastating floods. Challenging weather continued last week with more rain.

Lincoln, Dawson, and Custer counties recorded lots of precipitation. Burt and Washington counties also saw well over 2 inches.

Nebraska precipitation totals map from 5-19-19
Iowa Mesonet

On a positive note, temperatures in Nebraska were a bit higher than average for this time of year, which may have helped farmers plant 24% of the state's corn crop in seven days. Total planted corn acres has been reported to be 70%. Soybean planting progress also leaped 20% for a total of 40% in the ground.

Nebraska temperature departure map from 5-19-19
Iowa Mesonet


Minnesota farmers grew 1,363,180,000 bushels of corn last year and recorded an average yield of 182 bushels per acre. At this point last year 72% of the corn crop was planted.

However, rain and cool temperatures have cause slow planting progress this year. Last week parts of the state near Sherburne and Wright counties saw as much as 2.71 inches of rain. Precipitation was recorded across the state.

Minnesota precipitation total map from 5-19-19
Iowa Mesonet

A few counties in northeast Minnesota were colder than average, but overall the rest of the states wasn't too far off from the average temperature. Farmers did gain ground on corn progress jumping from 21% the week prior to 56%. However, progress remains significantly behind the 5-year average of 83%. Soybeans jumped from 3% planted to 22%.

Minnesota temperature departure map from 5-19
Iowa Mesonet


Farmers in Indiana grew 982,800,000 bushels of corn in 2018. Average corn yield was reported to be 189. Adverse planting weather makes it increasingly unlikely that numbers like that will be recorded for 2019.

Indiana is another state that saw more than 2 inches of rain in parts last week. Wells, Adams, and Jay counties saw the most precipitation.

Indiana map of precipitation totals from 5-19-19
Iowa Mesonet

A very red temperature departure map shows farmers in the state experienced cooler than average temperatures last week. In the southern tip, it was almost 7 degrees below average for this time of year. These cool temperatures have prevented saturated soils from drying out, and crippled planting pace. Only 14% of the corn crop is in the ground, way behind the 5-year average of 73%. Soybean progress crawled from 2% to 6% planted last week, also trailing the 5-year average of 43%.

Indiana temperature departure map from 5-19-19
Iowa Mesonet

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