WASHINGTON, May 29, 2013- The break in bad weather across much of the nation created a surge in crop plantings, which is reflected in USDA’s Crop Progress Report released Tuesday afternoon.

Corn planting picked up significantly in the past week after a slow start to the year due to heavy rain. Eighty-six-percent of projected corn acres were planted as of May 26, compared to 71 percent planted one week ago and just 28 percent two weeks ago.

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey said in USDA’s Radio Newsline that after the 15 percentage point increase over the last week, corn planting is just four points behind the five-year average for this point in the season and behind last year’s progress at 99 percent by Memorial Day weekend.

Corn emergence also made significant gains over the past week. Overall emergence stands at 54 percent of the total corn acres in the top 18 corn-producing states. Emergence advanced from May 19 at 19 percent to 54 percent on May 26 due to warm weather, Rippey said.

More soybeans were planted in the last week across the U.S. than corn, due to many producers choosing to switch from corn to soybeans, Rippey explained. While overall planting progress for soybeans is at 44 percent, it is well behind the five-year average of 61 percent and the progress at this time last year at 87 percent.

Rippey noted that cotton plating is picking up, especially in Texas where planting increased 20 percentage points to reach 49 percent overall, behind the five-year average of 60 percent.

While drought delayed Texas planting, wet weather delayed cotton planting in Mississippi. Farmers advanced cotton planting in Mississippi to 36 percent in the last week, compared to 96 percent last year.

Overall, cotton progress at 59 percent planted is ten points behind the five-year average.

Rippey said rice planting is winding down with 90 percent planted, three points behind the five-year average and eight points behind last year.  “Like cotton, rice had delays,” he noted. “The state with the most rice left to plant is Mississippi, with 72 percent planted.”

Rice emergence at 76 percent is 15 points behind last year and two points behind the five-year average.

“Rice conditions, because of late planting issues and a few pockets of dryness in the western Gulf Coast region, are not doing quite as well as this time last year,” Rippey said. This year, 59 percent is rated good to excellence and six percent is very poor to poor. Last year’s rice conditions at this time were at 69 and 2 percent, respectively.

Also, winter what conditions are continuing to decline. The amount of very poor to poor winter wheat is at 42 percent, up one point from a week ago and from 17 percent last year.  Texas now has 76 percent of its winter wheat crop in very poor to poor condition. 

Rippy said spring wheat planting in the north was significantly delayed “by first a cold spring and now wet weather.” As of May 26, 79 percent of spring wheat is planted. In North Dakota, only 62 percent is planted, compared to the entire crop planted at this time last year.


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