According to yesterday's USDA Crop Progress Report, in the 18 major corn producing states, just 62 percent of the U.S. corn crop was in the ground as of May 17. That level is well below the five-year average, of which 85 percent of the corn crop would have been planted by May 17. The current rate is even falling behind last spring's water-soaked season when 70 percent was in the ground by now.

This week's total compares with last week's report, which indicated that 48 percent of the U.S. corn crop had been planted.

Among the states facing the greatest delays are Illinois and Indiana. In Illinois, just 20 percent of the crop is planted compared to 73 percent a year ago and a five-year average of 92 percent. In Indiana, 24 percent of the corn crop is in place compared to 67 percent last spring and 83 percent for the five-year average.

The corn market might be too complacent about current planting delays, according to University of Illinois Extension Economist Darrel Good.

Progress has been strong in Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. All in all, the market is not reacting strongly to the planting delays. The average national corn yield runs 155 bushels to the acre, and so far most analysts are not concerned that this year's crop will come up short. 
 
View USDA's current report.