USDA Crop Progress Report-- May 22, 2023

Crop Progress Graphic

In this week’s Crop Progress & Condition report, USDA showed that corn planting progress nationwide had reached 81 percent as of Sunday - six points ahead of the five-year average. In the critical I-80 Corridor, Iowa and Illinois are both nearing completion as they each reported progress of more than 90 percent. Nebraska is not far behind at 87 percent this week. If there is open weather over the next week, it is likely that the vast majority of the nation’s crop will be planted by Memorial Day. [PLEASE NOTE: Next week’s report will be released on Tuesday afternoon since Monday is a holiday.]

Soybean planting continued to move along at high speed this year as 66 percent of the nation’s acreage is already planted. That’s 14 points ahead of the average pace. In the I-80 Corridor, Illinois is closest to the finish line with 85 percent of its crop planted while Iowa is nipping at its heels with 84 percent. Ohio, which lagged badly early this spring, made tremendous strides and now stands at 63 percent complete - a full 24 percentage points ahead of where it normally would be by now.

Cotton planting lost a little ground in its national planting pace last week as it only moved up to 45 percent completion compared to the 50 percent average. The top producing state of Texas fell further behind as it only put five percent of its crop in the ground last week to bring its total up to 35 percent compared to its average of 43.

Grain sorghum planting across the nation continues to keep right in line with its five-year average - coming in at 33 percent complete this week. The southern Plains states of Texas and Oklahoma made very little progress over the past seven days, but South Dakota put in 19 percent of its crop just in the last week to bring its total up to 31 percent, so it now is running 10 points ahead of schedule. Nebraska and Colorado each planted another 10 percent of their acres since a week ago.

Spring wheat planting nationwide finally saw some good progress across the northern states. In fact, Washington state and South Dakota are basically done with 98 and 95 percent respectively while Idaho doesn’t have much left as it stands at 90 percent. North Dakota trails its average the most with only 48 percent of its crop now seeded - 17 points behind its normal pace.

Winter wheat condition nationwide improved by two percentage points to edge up to 31 percent good to excellent. However, 40 percent of the nation’s crop still fits into the poor to very poor categories. Kansas and Oklahoma both continue to have serious problems as they each reported only 10 percent of their acreage made the good to excellent grade. Over two thirds of the Kansas crop (69 percent) falls into the poor to very poor classifications - confirming the ominous reports of the annual wheat tour last week.

Pasture conditions improved again in most of the main cattle producing states. In the Plains states, even though they showed small gains, Nebraska and Kansas are still struggling with only 15 percent of their pastureland rated as good to excellent. However, Texas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota have ratings of more than 30 percent. Further north, North Dakota took advantage of all the abundant moisture this spring to see its pastureland rebound to a 62 percent good to excellent rating. Colorado was a bit of an enigma as its rating nosedived by 12 points.

In the topsoil moisture deficit report (generally considered to measure the top four inches of soil representing the seed planting and sprouting zone), New Mexico holds down the top spot with 67 percent of its acreage rated short to very short, but that rating did actually improve by five points from a week ago. With a 12 point slide in moisture availability since last week, Nebraska surpassed Kansas to take over the second spot with a 58 percent deficit.

In the subsoil moisture deficit report (considered to measure deep soil moisture down to a few feet where the crop roots would extend downward), New Mexico maintained the driest position with 83 percent of its acres rated short to very short - another point higher than a week ago. Just as in the topsoil report, Nebraska slipped into second place in the subsoil moisture deficit as well with a rating of 73 percent short to very short. Kansas dropped to third on the list thanks to an eight-point improvement last week courtesy of beneficial rains earlier this month.

USDA Crop Progress 230522.pdf
Related Stories
USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says we are heading into spring rather quickly and ahead of schedule, which could have negative implications for small grains and blooming fruit crops.

Agriculture Shows
From soil to harvest. Top Crop is an all-new series about four of the best farmers in the world—Dan Luepkes, of Oregan, Illinois; Cory Atley, of Cedarville, Ohio; Shelby Fite, of Jackson Center, Ohio; Russell Hedrick, of Hickory, North Carolina—reveals what it takes for them to make a profitable crop. It all starts with good soil, patience, and a strong planter setup.
Champions of Rural America is a half-hour dive into the legislative priorities for Rural America. Join Host and Market Day Report Anchor Christina Loren as she interviews members of the Congressional Western Caucus to learn about efforts in Washington to preserve agriculture and tackles the most important topics in the ag industry on Champions of Rural America!
Farm Traveler is for people who want to connect with their food and those who grow it. Thanks to direct-to-consumer businesses, agritourism, and social media, it’s now easier than ever to learn how our food is made and support local farmers. Here on the Farm Traveler, we want to connect you with businesses offering direct-to-consumer products you can try at home, agritourism sites you can visit with your family, and exciting new technologies that are changing how your food is being grown.
Featuring members of Congress, federal and state officials, ag and food leaders, farmers, and roundtable panelists for debates and discussions.
Host Ben Bailey hops in the tractor cab, giving farmers 10 minutes to answer as many questions and grab as much cash as they can for their local FFA chapter.