USDA Crop Progress Report-- May 9, 2022


In this week’s report, USDA pegs corn planting progress as of Sunday, May 8 at 22 percent complete nationally - about as expected by the trade, but still significantly lagging behind the five-year average of 50 percent. In the important I-80 Corridor encompassing the key corn production areas between Nebraska and Ohio, ALL of those states are well behind their average pace, Nebraska leads the pack with 39 percent planted. Iowa is the furthest behind with only 14 percent planted compared to its average of 63 percent by this time of year.

Soybean planting only advanced by four points last week to 12 percent complete nationwide. That’s only half of where it should be by now. In the I-80 Corridor, Nebraska is the leader with 28 percent planted which is close to its 29 percent average. But, just as in the corn, Iowa is furthest behind with only seven percent of its soybean crop in the ground versus its average of 34 percent.

The national cotton planting pace is right on target at the national level with 24 percent completed. Mississippi made tremendous progress and is now nine percentage points ahead of its five-year average. North Carolina also moved ahead of its average pace with 27 percent of its crop in the ground.

Grain sorghum (milo) planting only moved a couple of points last week to get to 22 percent complete nationwide - four points behind its average pace. The largest producing state of Texas moved up to 70 percent done, but Oklahoma is only up to five percent compared to its average of 14 while Nebraska registers for the first time this year with two percent of its acres in the ground - five points behind where it normally would be.

Rice planting is running close to normal with 66 percent of the national acreage in the ground. Mississippi surged up to 72 percent planted while Missouri - which had been severely lagging up to this point - finally made strong progress to reach the 31 percent level, but that is still barely half of its five-year average. California made an impressive jump with half of its crop going into the ground just last week alone.

Peanut planting moved to within one point of its average pace nationally where it now stands at 25 percent complete this week. The biggest mover was South Carolina which planted 26 percent of its acres last week to move it up to 30 percent completion.

Spring wheat planting is now 27 percent complete nationwide compared to its five-year average pace of 47 percent. The reason for the drag on the national planting pace is the fact that North Dakota continues to battle cold, rainy weather which has kept the ground saturated to the point where only eight percent of its crop has been planted when it should have 37 percent planted by this point.

Nationally, oats planting stands at 55 percent completion which puts it 16 points behind its average of 71 percent. Only South Dakota has made good progress this spring as they have reached 63 percent completion, but ALL of the other major producing states are AT LEAST 20 points behind their normal pace.

Winter wheat condition actually improved two percentage points to edge upward to 29 percent in the combined good to excellent categories. However, more of the nation’s crop still resides in the poor to very poor categories with 39 percent of the acreage meeting that criteria. Noteworthy moves in the Plains states were Nebraska improving by eight points, but Texas sliding down one point to only seven percent good to excellent while an amazing 77 percent of its crop remains in poor to very poor condition. [Side note: With temps expected in the 100s over much of the southern High Plains with no rain this week, many analysts look for large numbers of acres to die off or be abandoned in favor of other spring planted crops. The annual Wheat Quality Council tour of Kansas and surrounding area wheat begins next week and should be a real eye opener in the western half of the region.]

Somewhat surprisingly, pasture conditions in the Plains actually improved slightly across the board from last week’s numbers. However, the majority of acreage still cannot muster even a good rating. Oklahoma did improve by 10 points in its good to excellent rating up to a respectable 38 percent. However, Texas still reports a massive 73 percent in the poor to very poor categories while Nebraska has 63 percent. In the northern Rockies, Montana is still in extremely tough shape with 86 percent of its pastureland in the poor to very poor categories.

In the topsoil moisture deficit category (generally considered to measure the top four inches of soil representing the seed planting and sprouting zone), New Mexico retains the top spot as it still has 90 percent of its acres in the short to very short categories. Texas also held steady at 81 percent. Montana slid down another four percentage points, but Colorado, Wyoming, and Oklahoma managed nice rebounds in their conditions

In the subsoil moisture deficit category (considered to measure deep soil moisture down to a few feet where the crop roots would extend downward), New Mexico still has a lock on the top spot with 93 percent. Montana moves into second place with 86 percent short to very short. Wyoming which held second place last week improved by nine points this week and Nebraska improved by 19 points thanks to timely rains received recently.

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