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2018 Planting Progress: Farmers in Most Midwest States Catching Up with Planting

By Jason Smith, CAI Auctioneer | Land Broker | Published May 20, 2018

True to their reputation, Midwest farmers have been turning on the power through May when it comes to planting their crops this spring. As you recall, late snows and heavy rains kept farmers out of fields across four of the five states where DreamDirt land brokers are working with farmland owners and farmers on selling and acquiring land. Only Missouri escaped the long April wait, while farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and North Dakota waited for Mother Nature to give them the green light.

farmland planting progressWhile most have caught up with planting, farmers in Minnesota and the northern counties of Iowa have still dealt with ongoing – and very frustrating - rains.

Ag meteorologist Ryan Martin said, “Minnesota is really behind the eight-ball with delayed plantings that will likely go until late June” because of the rains in the state. Though he expects September will be dry for the state and help a late-maturing crop, that doesn’t diminish the frustration farmers are feeling right now.

If Minnesota gets some sunny weather, watch out. Once farmers get a suitable day of weather, they can plant nearly 1.5 million acres in that time, according to University of Nebraska agronomist Roger Elsmore.

The table below shows the percent of acres that were planted by May 20 across the DreamDirt states, according to the USDA crop progress report issued by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) earlier this week. In general, Iowa and Nebraska farmers are now caught up with where they were a year ago, Missouri is ahead of last year’s numbers, and North Dakota and Minnesota are behind.

Percent of crop acres planted in each state by May 20, 2018.

State Corn Planted1 Corn Emerged Soybeans Planted2 Soybeans Emerged Oats Planted3 Oats Emerged Pasture/Range Condition*
Good/  Excellent Fair Poor/ Very Poor
Iowa 86 53 58 18 97 86 56 31 13
Minnesota 77 24 48 3 85 54 59 31 10
Missouri 96 84 61 33 38 45 21
Nebraska 88 53 68 25 95 86 54 31 14
North Dakota 62 8 33 1 65 25 26 48 26

1 The five states listed are part of the 18 U.S. states that are responsible for 92% of the corn acres in 2017.

2 The five states listed are part of the 18 U.S. states that are responsible for 96% of the soybean acres in 2017.

3 The four states listed are part of the 9 U.S. states that are responsible for 67% of the oats acres in 2017.

* Numbers don’t always add to 100% because of rounding.

In the first two weeks of June, NASS will gather information about this season’s crop production and supplies of grain in storage. The information will help producers, suppliers, traders, buyers and those looking to sell or buy land make informed business decisions. The results will be available on June 29 in the Acreage and Grain Stocks reports from USDA.

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