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Planting Gets Started in Nebraska, Kansas

The latest USDA Crop Progress Report released on Monday, April 23, indicated farmers in Nebraska and Kansas are getting in the field to start planting.

While drought conditions persist in some areas, weekend rains brought a bit of welcome relief to parts of the region.


Farmers in Nebraska have started planting corn. The latest USDA Crop Progress Report shows 2% of the corn crop is in the ground in Nebraska, up 1% from last week. Abnormal wintry conditions that persisted well into April have kept progress lagging behind the five-year average of 9%. This time last year, 15% of the corn crop had been planted.

One state south, Kansas planting is further along, with 9% of the crop getting planted in the last week to bring the total planted corn acres to 15%. Like much of the country, planting in Kansas is also delayed compared with the five-year average. In 2017, 19% of the corn crop had been planted by this time.


Soybean planting has just begun in Nebraska. USDA says 1% of the crop has been planted, which is right on pace based on the five-year average. Last year, soybeans were running a bit ahead of schedule. Last year, soybeans were running a bit ahead of schedule with 3% of the crop planted at this time.

In Kansas, as expected, no soybean planting has been recorded.


Nebraska made progress in oat planting, but not enough to catch up with the five-year average. While 11% of the crop was planted in the last week, that only brings the total of planted oat acres to 46%. That’s still significantly behind last year’s pace of 79% and the five-year average of 78%.

Of the oats that have been planted in Nebraska, 15% are emerged. That’s another 11% gain on last week’s numbers, but still well behind the normal 37% for this time of year.

Winter Wheat

No winter wheat heading has been recorded in Nebraska. According to the USDA five-year average, this is normal.

Just 1% of the state’s crop is rated very poor. The report says 46% of the crop is in good condition, followed by 37% in fair shape. 10% of the Nebraska winter wheat crop is in excellent condition this week.

The USDA report shows, on average over the last five years, 11% of the Kansas winter wheat would be headed by now. Last year, the crop was 23% headed. The April 23 report indicates no winter wheat heading has been reported in the state yet.

Only 1% of Kansas winter wheat is in excellent condition; 11% is good. The largest share of the crop is estimated to be in fair condition at 39%, followed by 33% poor. Also, 16% of the state’s winter wheat crop is in very poor shape.


In Nebraska, 3.2 days last week were suitable for fieldwork.

Farther south, 5.3 days were suitable for fieldwork in Kansas. Farmers and ranchers welcomed some much-needed precipitation over the weekend.

The heaviest amounts of precipitation were recorded in south-central Kansas. “The showers should improve conditions for the hard red winter wheat crop, but much more rainfall will be needed to end the drought in the Southern Plains,” said meteorologist Kyle Tapley of Radiant Solutions in a report published Monday. “Light showers are expected in the Plains tomorrow and Wednesday, which may lead to additional minor improvements in soil moisture.”

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