Finally it feels like progress is being made when it comes to getting the 2011 corn and soybean crops into the ground. Today’s USDA Crop Progress Report is showing 79% of the corn crop is in, while soybeans are 41% planted.

While wet Ohio still lags far behind the rest of the corn states at only 11% planted, most others are well over half planted, and some are nearing the finishing line. Six states are over 90% finished: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina and Texas. South Dakota made huge progress over the last week jumping from 44% completed last week to 73% this week. Wisconsin jumped nearly 30 points, too, to 63% complete.

Corn has now emerged in every state. Leading the group is North Carolina with 96% of the corn crop emerged. The northern Corn Belt is still lagging behind, but is making progress emerging from the soil. Ohio’s crop is only 2% emerged, and North Dakota has only 7% popping up. Minnesota’s corn crop made a big jump in emergence in the last seven days going from 1% last week to 23% emerged this week. Iowa’s crop made the biggest jump, going up 41 points to 74% emerged after last week’s 33%.

Soybean planting progress continues and the crop is now 41% planted, 10 points behind the five-year average pace of 51%. Many states made good progress the last seven days getting soybeans in the ground: Illinois had only 16% of the crop in last week and is now nearly half done; Iowa jumped from 47% to 78%; and Nebraska farmers now have 68% of their beans in the ground, compared to last week’s 40%.

Beans have started emerging in all but North Dakota and Wisconsin for an overall average of 12% emerged, compared to a five-year average of 19% and last year’s pace of 22%. Louisiana has seen 79% of its bean crop pop up and Mississippi has 63% of its beans above soil level. A handful of states are less than 10% emerged: Indiana (3%), Kentucky (2%), Michigan (7%), Minnesota (1%), Ohio (1%), South Dakota (1%), Tennessee (1%).