There is a recent trend toward planting soybeans earlier and this decision may be contributing to the lag in corn planting progress this year. For much of the Midwest, 2024 started out with soils in a dry to extremely dry condition. This opened up a planting window in Mid-April for many producers and it appears that some producers took advantage of that window to plant soybeans ahead of corn. Then the skies opened up and a series of storm fronts moved across the heart of the Midwest and the planting windows have become shortened and less frequent than many producers expected.

Figure 1. Days Suitable for Fieldwork (6-weeks: Mid-April to Late May

For Iowa, there are normally 22.28 days suitable for fieldwork during the 6-week period of mid-April to late-May. This year there have been 19. That is a difference of -14.7% less suitable days. Iowa normally has 89% of its corn planted by the end of...