Corn Planting Progress

As indicated in the latest USDA’s Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report published May 22, 2017, 92% of 2017 Iowa’s corn prospective planting acres (13.300 million acres) were planted by May 21, 2017 (week #20), up 7% from the previous week’s percent of acres planted (85%). The progress made in week #20 of this year remains behind the percent of acres planted during the same week a year earlier (95%), but ahead of the five-year average (90%) (see Figure 1). Planting activities during week #20 were limited by wet weather conditions, which allowed just 2.3 days suitable for fieldwork statewide, compared with 4.5 days last week and 5.5 days last year at this time.

Based on the state 2017 corn prospective plantings (13.300 million acres), and assuming Iowa’s crop reporting districts (CRDs) will be planting the same percent of total planted acres as in the previous five-year average, Figure 2 shows 2017 prospective planted acreage by CRD. The West Central district leads with 2.023 million acres, followed by North West CRD with 1.981 million acres. Based on these estimates the CRD with the least corn prospective planted acres is South Central with 0.549 million acres. The progress report indicates that overall the nine Iowa CRDs have achieved 88% or more of their corn plantings. Counties located in the North West and Central CRDs achieved 95% of prospective planted acres, whereas North Central and East Central CRDs planted 94% each of their prospective planted acreage. In addition, South East CRD planted 93% of the estimated corn prospective planted acres so far (see Figure 2).

Corn emergence across the state was 59% by the end of week #20, on par with the five-year average, but behind last year (72%). Corn emergence was the most advanced in the Central CRD with 70% emergence.

About 1.064 million acres (8%) of the 2017 Iowa estimated corn prospective plantings have yet to be planted to achieve the prospective corn plantings of 13.300 million acres. 

Soybean Planting Progress

Iowa’s soybean plantings increased to 62% by May 21st from 40% last week (week #19). 2017 soybean planting progress so far is down compared with the same time last year (70%) but up relative to the five-year average (60%) (see Figure 3). With 62% of soybeans planted so far, Iowa producers completed 6.262 million acres of the total 2017 soybean prospective plantings (10.100 million acres).  This reporting week, 2.222 million acres of planted soybeans were added to the soybean acres planted by end of the previous reporting week (4.040 million acres)

The USDA’s report indicated 71% of soybean planting was completed in the Central CRD while 42% of soybean plantings were completed in the South Central CRD (see Figure 4). Assuming the nine CRDs will be planting the same percentage of total planting in 2017 as in the previous 5-year average, the estimated number of planted acres by the end of week #20 were 1.019 million acres in the Central CRD whereas about 0.262 million acres were covered in the South Central CRD by May 21, 2017. The North West CRD has the most 2017 prospective soybean planted acres with 1.599 million acres (68% soybean planting progress) (see Figure 4).

Across Iowa, soybean emergence during the week ending on May 21, 2017 reached 15%, compared with 2% last week and 19% last year at this time. Soybean emergence differed statewide from 28% in the Central CRD to 10% in North Central CRD.

The number of days suitable for fieldwork across the state ranged from 3.2 and 3.1 days in the East Central and South East CRDs, respectively, to 1.9 days in the North West and West Central CRDs. According to the report, weekly rain totals fluctuated from 0.76 inches near London in Henry County, located in the South East CRD, to 5.78 inches near Mondamin in Harrison County located in the West Central CRD.  In addition, the state weekly rain average was 2.56 inches, the highest since the third week of August in 2015.

Based on the USDA’s Crop Progress report released May 22, 2017, on average, the 18[1] states that planted 92% of the 2016 corn acreage planted 84% of their 2017 prospective corn acreage by the end of May 21st. These states were slightly behind the five-year average (85%) corn planting progress but remained the same as last year (84%). In addition, the 18[2] States that planted 95% of the 2016 soybean acreage, planted 53% of their 2017 prospective soybean acreage by the end of week #20.  Soybean planting progress for these 18 states was slightly ahead of the 2012-2016 average (52%) and on par with the previous year. In 2016, Iowa ranked first and second in corn and soybean production, respectively.

[1] Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

[2] Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin.