Highlights: Above average temperatures prevailed along much of the southern United States border stretching from California to Texas, as well as in most areas east of the Great Plains. Most notably, average weekly recordings pushed the mercury to as many as 15 degrees above normal in several Mid-Atlantic Coast States. In contrast, much of the northern Rocky Mountains experienced temperatures well below normal brought on by a late-week cold front. While much of the country was relatively dry during the week, areas in the Northern Tier, the Four Corners States, and east of the Mississippi River accumulated precipitation totaling 200 percent or more above normal.

Corn: By May 9, corn producers had planted 81 percent of the intended 2010 crop, well ahead of last year and the 5-year average, and the third quickest pace on record behind the 2004 and 2000 crop years, respectively. Despite rainfall limiting fieldwork in some areas, the rapid planting pace continued across much of the major corn-producing region. Throughout the Corn Belt, overall planting progress remained 20 percentage points or more ahead of normal. Conversely, planting was slow in areas of Kentucky and Tennessee following last week's heavy rainfall and severe flooding that left producers contending with standing water and debris-littered fields.

Overall, emergence advanced to 39 percent complete by week's end, 26 percentage points ahead of last year and 18 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Mostly warm, sunny weather throughout much of the week prompted emergence of 22 percentage points or more in North Carolina, Ohio, and across much of the Corn Belt.

Soybeans: Nationally, 30 percent of this year's soybean crop was planted by May 9, seventeen percentage points ahead of last year and 11 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Despite below average temperatures and rainfall late in the week, producers in Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota, the three largest soybean-producing States, planted 21 percent or more of their crop during the week. Overall, emergence reached 7 percent complete by week's end, 4 percentage points ahead of last year and 3 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average.

Winter Wheat: Heading of the winter wheat crop advanced 13 percentage points during the week to 40 percent complete by May 9, slightly ahead of last year but 3 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Overall, 66 percent of the winter wheat crop was reported in good to excellent condition, down slightly from ratings last week but 20 percentage points better than ratings from this time a year ago.

Cotton: Producers planted 8 percent of the Nation's cotton crop during the week, leaving progress, at 34 percent complete, 5 percentage points ahead of last year but on par with the 5-year average. In Texas, planting progress inched forward as producers in the Northern High Plains continued to wait for improved conditions before planting their crop. Elsewhere, warmer days in South Texas led to exceptional growth and plant development.

Sorghum: Thirty-six percent of the sorghum crop was planted by May 9, seven percentage points ahead of last year and 5 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. The most significant surge in planting was evident in Colorado, where producers utilized nearly a week of days suitable for fieldwork to plant 12 percent of their crop during the week.

Rice: Nationwide, 82 percent of the 2010 rice crop was seeded by week's end, 14 percentage points ahead of last year and 7 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. While seeding neared completion throughout much of the Delta and in Texas, progress in California fell to 17 percentage points behind normal. Emergence had reached 67 percent complete by May 9, nineteen percentage points ahead of last year and 12 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Overall, 58 percent of the rice crop was reported in good to excellent condition.

Small Grains: Oat producers had seeded 86 percent of the Nations' crop by May 9, eight percentage points ahead of last year and slightly ahead of the 5-year average. A week of abnormally wet weather slowed small grain seeding in North Dakota, pushing overall progress to one week behind normal.
Emergence advanced to 71 percent complete by week's end, 13 percentage points ahead of last year and 11 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Overall, 76 percent of the oat crop was reported in good to excellent condition, up 7 percentage points from ratings last week and 32 percentage points better than this time last year.

By May 9, barley producers had seeded 61 percent of this year's crop, 28 percentage points ahead of last year but slightly behind the 5-year average. In Idaho, a week of mostly dry weather afforded producers ample time to seed 20 percent of their crop during the week. Emergence had reached 28 percent complete by week's end, 17 percentage points ahead of last year and 4 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Abnormally cool temperatures in North Dakota slowed emergence during the week and as a result, overall progress fell to 4 percentage points behind normal.

Nationally, 67 percent of the spring wheat crop was seeded by May 9, thirty-three percentage points ahead of last year and slightly ahead of the 5-year average. Rainfall in the northwestern part of Minnesota hampered fieldwork, leaving spring wheat producers waiting for improved conditions to finish seeding this year's crop. Emergence advanced to 38 percent by week's end, 26 percentage points ahead of last year and 10 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average.

Other Crops: Peanut planting progressed to 22 percent complete by week's end, slightly ahead of last year and 4 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Although producers in Alabama utilized 4 days suitable for fieldwork to plant 11 percent of their peanut crop during the week, overall progress remained 8 percentage points, or 5 days behind normal.