U.S. farmers have completed planting 53% of the nation’s corn crop as of April 29, according to a report in the Daily Livestock Report by Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.

That figure compares to 27% at the same time last year and an average of 27% over the last five years.

This week’s national figure of 53% corn acres planted is the second highest on record, second only to the 68% of corn acres planted in 2010. It is 1% higher than the 52% planting paces of 2005 and 2006.

All 18 states cited in USDA’s weekly Crop Progress are ahead of their five-year average for this point in the crop growing season. Most notable are Illinois at 79% planted vs. 10% last year and a five-year average of 29%; Indiana at 70% vs 2% last year and a five-year average of 20% over the past five years; and Ohio at 57% after planting only 1% last year.

Northern-tier states are also ahead of schedule: Iowa, 50% vs an average of 32%; Minnesota at 48% vs an average of 31%; and North and South Dakota at 24% and 31%, respectively.

According to the USDA report, one-quarter of the nation’s corn acres were seeded last week. Based on planting intentions of 95.8 million acres, that means 24 million acres were planted or nearly 3.5 million acres were planted per day.

Soybean planting is just getting started but as with corn is well ahead of last year’s plantings with 12% of the intended acres planted in the 18 surveyed states.

That compares to 2% of intended acres planted last year and 5% over the past five years. The southern states are leading the pack in soybean planting. Illinois, Indiana and Ohio have 13%, 28% and 16%, respectively, of the intended soybean acres planted as of Sunday.

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