USDA: Corn plantings pick up, but still behind
ST. LOUIS (AP) — U.S. farmers are making the most of break in the seemingly unceasing spring rains to plant corn, though the pace still remains well behind schedule, the latest federal figures showed Monday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its weekly update of the nation’s crop progress, said 28 percent of U.S. cornfields have been planted, more than double the 12 percent of just a week earlier. But the numbers were nothing like last year, when 85 percent of the corn was planted because of an early spring. And this year falls well short of the 65 percent of the crop that already was in the ground by this date over the previous five years.
Corn sowing continues to lag across the nation’s breadbasket. Iowa, the nation’s largest corn producer, has just 15 percent of its crop planted, less than one-fifth of the pace of the previous five years. Illinois farmers have sown just 17 percent of their crop, while 43 percent of Nebraska’s corn is in the ground.
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