Highlights: Cooler than normal temperatures prevailed across much of the country west of the Rocky Mountains, as well as in a band stretching from the central Great Plains eastward to the Atlantic Coast. Most notably, weekly temperature recordings averaged as many as 9 degrees below normal in portions of northern California. Conversely, abnormally warm weather pushed the mercury to as many as 11 degrees above average in locations in northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. Precipitation was sporadic throughout the Nation during the week. While locations in the Southwest and Great Lakes region received less than 2 percent of their normal rainfall, much of the Pacific Northwest and portions of the Great Plains, Corn Belt, Ohio Valley, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic Coast States accumulated precipitation totaling 200 percent or more above normal.

Corn: By week's end, 93 percent of the 2010 corn crop was planted compared with 80 percent last year and 89 percent for the 5-year average. A second week of persistent Midwestern storms again hampered fieldwork throughout much of the Corn Belt, where planting progress, with the exception of South Dakota, was limited to 7 percentage points or less during the week. Emergence advanced 16 percentage points during the week, leaving progress, at 71 percent complete, 21 percentage points ahead of last year and 9 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Above average temperatures promoted emergence of 18 percentage points or more across the Great Lakes region, as well as in Colorado, Nebraska, and North Dakota. Led by double-digit improvements in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, and North Carolina, 71 percent of the Nation's corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition, up 4 percentage points from last week.

Soybeans: Nationally, 53 percent of the soybean crop was planted by May 23, nine percentage points ahead of last year but 4 percentage points behind the 5-year average. The most significant delay was evident in Missouri where an abundance of rainfall had provided producers just 2 days suitable for fieldwork during the past two weeks, resulting in an overall delay of 21 percentage points, or 8 days. Nationwide, emergence advanced to 24 percent complete by week's end, 9 percentage points ahead of last year and 1 percentage point ahead of the 5-year average.

Winter Wheat: Heading of the winter wheat crop advanced 11 percentage points during the week, leaving progress, at 63 percent complete, 3 percentage points behind last year and 5 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Despite below average temperatures in Kansas, the largest winter wheat-producing State, 17 percent of the crop developed heads during the week; however, overall progress remained 7 percentage points behind both last year and normal. Overall, 66 percent of the winter wheat crop was reported in good to excellent condition, unchanged from ratings last week but 21 percentage points better than the same time last year.

Cotton: By May 23, cotton producers had planted 60 percent of this year's crop, slightly ahead of last year but 3 percentage points behind the 5-year average. The most significant delays were evident in Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Elsewhere, producers along the Upper Coast sprayed insecticide on squaring fields infested with fleahoppers.

Sorghum: By week's end, 42 percent of the sorghum crop was planted, 2 percentage points behind both last year and the 5-year average. Rainfall totaling one inch or more limited fieldwork to 2 days throughout much of Kansas, the largest sorghum-producing State. In Texas, sorghum in the Northern Low Plains began emerging, while much-needed rainfall in South Texas brought relief to the dryland crop.

Rice: Nationally, 95 percent of the 2010 rice crop was seeded by May 23, eleven percentage points ahead of last year and 4 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Seeding was nearly complete throughout the Delta and in Texas. Emergence advanced to 80 percent complete by week's end, 13 percentage points ahead of last year and 3 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. In California, the second largest rice-producing State, unseasonably cool temperatures slowed emergence and growth of the crop. Overall, 68 percent of the rice crop was reported in good to excellent condition, up 4 percentage points from ratings last week and 18 percentage points better than the same time last year.

Small Grains: Ninety-six percent of the Nation's oat crop was seeded by week's end, 2 percentage points ahead of last year but slightly behind the 5-year average. Above average temperatures and limited rainfall afforded producers in North Dakota 5 days suitable for fieldwork to seed 22 percent of the oat crop during the week; however, overall progress remained 9 percentage points behind normal. By May 23, emergence had advanced to 88 percent complete, 7 percentage points ahead of last year and 2 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. With progress limited to Iowa, Ohio, and Texas, 27 percent of the oat crop was at or beyond the headed stage, on par with last year and the 5-year average. Overall, 80 percent of the oat crop was reported in good to excellent condition, up slightly from ratings last week and 23 percentage points better than this time last year.

By May 23, barley producers had seeded 92 percent of this year's crop, 18 percentage points ahead of last year and 3 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Ideal weather conditions in Montana and North Dakota allowed producers to seed 15 and 26 percent of their crop, respectively. Emergence advanced 19 percentage points during the week, leaving progress, at 62 percent complete 24 percentage points ahead of last year but slightly behind the 5-year average. The most significant delay was evident in Idaho where below average temperatures slowed crop development throughout the State. Overall, 84 percent of the barley crop was reported in good to excellent condition.

Producers had seeded 91 percent of the spring wheat crop by week's end, 16 percentage points ahead of last year but on par with the 5-year average. Similar to the other small grains, progress was most active in North Dakota, where 19 percent of the crop was seeded during the week. Emergence was evident on 70 percent of this year's spring wheat crop, 28 percentage points ahead of last year and 2 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Overall, 85 percent of the spring wheat crop was reported in good to excellent condition.

Other Crops: Nationally, 62 percent of the peanut crop was planted by May 23, five percentage points ahead of last year and 2 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. In Alabama, the third largest peanut-producing State, rainfall was needed in areas of the Black Belt and Wiregrass regions for recently planted fields to emerge.