So far this spring is shaping up to be a lot different than last year, in a good way.
This time last year we had just seen 7-10 inches of snow across the corn belt, with frost and freeze into the deep south. In contrast, almost one third of the country saw record high temperatures last week, and this week has been almost picture perfect spring weather in the Corn Belt, which bodes well for planting progress.
In the first planting progress report of the season, USDA reports that as of Sunday, producers had planted 3 percent of the intended corn acreage for this year, up from last year, but 1 percentage point behind the 5-year average. Planting was underway in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota, 4 of the 5 largest corn-producing States, with progress slightly ahead of normal in Iowa and Minnesota. In Illinois, overall progress was 3 percentage points behind the 5-year average, but slightly ahead of progress from the previous 3 years. Kentucky and North Carolina are way ahead of last year, with 10 percent and 34 percent planted respectively. For Kentucky, that’s still a little behind normal, but NC is well ahead of the average of 25 percent for this time of year. Only Wisconsin, Nebraska, North and South Dakota have yet to show any progress, which is normal for them.