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PLANTING PROGRESS IN MIDWEST IS SLOWEST IN NINE YEARS
by Tyne Morgan, AgWeb.com

Summer-like temperatures and strong winds are helping dry out fields across the Midwest, as many farmers work to play catch-up with planting this week. That's as the latest USDA Crop Progress Report data shows planting is off to the slowest start in nine years with only 22% of the nation's corn crop planted as of Sunday, May 8.

As of Sunday, USDA says corn planting is 28 percentage points behind the five-year average and 42 points slower than last year's historic pace. This week's report shows an 8-point improvement from last week, when USDA data showed farmers had only planted 14% of their corn crop, the slowest since 2013.

Soybean planting progress currently sits at 12% complete, 12 points behind the five-year average. It trails last year by 15 points.

Slow Start in 'I States'

Illinois farmers trail the average corn planting pace by 43 points. As of Sunday, USDA says just 15% of the state's corn crop had been planted, an 8-point jump in a week's time. Indiana's corn crop is only 11% planted and Iowa sits at 14% complete. Typically, farmers would have 63% of the state's corn crop in the field.

While USDA shows planting progress by state, the current planting pace differs greatly within each state. Some farmers in eastern Iowa haven't made a single pass with the plater this season, while farther west, farmers have dodged the rain showers and planting is considerably ahead compared to other areas of the state.

It's a similar story in Illinois. Farmers just north of Effingham, Ill., say they're almost finished planting this year's crop. However, if you talk to farmers near Champaign, Ill., it's been too cold and wet to plant.

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