Crop Progress: Beating the 5 Year Average

May 4, 2016 10:45 AM
Planter planting2

Planters are rolling across fields as fast as they can this spring, thanks to cooperative weather in key states. 

Corn farmers find themselves 45% done with planting—compared to a 30% five-year average. Seeds are popping through soil, too, with 13% emerged across the country. Missouri farmers this week ran away with a first-place finish in emergence at 57% emerged, dramatically above the five-year average of 21%.

Soybeans typically get off to a slightly later start than corn. Currently, soybeans are 8% planted, but ahead of the five-year average of 6%. As rain falls in parts of the U.S., namely southern states, some farmers wonder if they’ll be able to get soybeans planted and stands established in time to save yield.

Here are a few quick tips from University of Illinois Extension AgronomistEmerson Nafziger to ensure good stand establishment in corn and soybeans:

  • Check for an even planting depth.
  • Keep an eye out for crusting that can make it difficult for corn and soybeans to break the soil surface.
  • Double check your planter calibration. Skips, doubles and other planter errors can be costly and diminish yield.
  • Watch the weather—it’s one of the biggest factors right now. Getting a crop planted right before a big rain might not pay off the way  you hope.
  • Don’t rush. Whether it’s your planter speed or returning to a field that's too wet, don’t start the growing season off on the wrong foot. “What happens in June, July and August matters way more than when you plant it,” Nafziger says.

Learn more about the latest corn and soybean crop progress in the AgDay clip below.


Want more video news? Watch it on AgDay.

How are planting conditions in your area? Are you above or below your normal progress? Let us know in AgWeb's Crop Comments section.

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