Cool, wet conditions again delayed planting progress across most of the country according to a report released April 22 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

With only four percent of total corn acres planted by April 21, progress lags far behind this time last year when 26 percent of U.S. corn acres were already in the ground and now trails the five-year average for this point by 12 percentage points.

Last week, planting progress was only five percentage points off the five-year average.

 “It is still early in the planting season and slow progress at this point should not cause alarm,” said National Corn Growers Association First Vice-President Martin Barbre, a grower in Illinois.

“In 2012, we saw how quickly rapid planting progress can wither away under a hot, dry summer sky. The precipitation may be keeping farmers out of the fields for now, but it is providing much needed moisture in many cases.

“In 2011, I had nothing planted and 3,000 acres under water on May 3, and I still raised a good crop. So, I know that there is plenty of time left to get a good crop in the ground.”

Progress lagged behind the five-year average in all of the top 18 corn-producing states except North Carolina, which saw rapid planting progress last week and is now five percentage points ahead of the five-year average.

The most significant delays have been seen in Illinois where planting progress lags 23 percentage points behind the five-year average and 55 percentage points behind 2012 planting progress at this time.

Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee have also seen planting delays that put progress 14 percentage points behind the five-year average also.

To view the full report released April 22, click here.

Despite these delays, a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on the usual corn planting and harvesting dates across the United States issued in 2012 shows that most areas have not yet reached or are just now entering the period in which the most planting activity occurs.

To view the Field Crops Usual Planting and Harvest Dates report, click here.