U.S. corn planting surpassed the halfway market last week as drier weather conditions allowed strong planting progress across most of the main Corn Belt, but cool weather limited crop emergence.

USDA pegged U.S. planting progress at 51% done as of Sunday, May 11, up from 27% a week earlier, but still well behind last year’s pace of 71% and the five-year average of 77%.

USDA reported only 11% of U.S. corn had emerged as of Sunday, up from 4% a week earlier and behind last year’s 32% and the five-year average of 33%.

Corn planting progress was most rapid in Indiana, where producers were able to plant 35% of their crop last week, taking overall progress to 61% against an average pace of 72%.

Planting progress in the top corn growing state of Iowa advanced 28 points to 46%, but was still 11 days behind the five-year average of 82%.

However, many fields were planted in less than ideal conditions and only 2% of the crop was emerged against an average of 29%, according to the Iowa office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Producers in the No. 2 corn state of Illinois planted 32% of their corn crop last week, with progress reaching 60% against an average pace of 88%. However, only 12% of the Illinois crop had emerged against an average of 58%.

Missouri producers continue to struggle mightily to get their corn crop in the ground. Missouri planting progress advanced just 11 percentage points last week, reaching only 34% versus an average of 83%.

Corn that has been planted in Missouri is not in good shape, with the state office of NASS saying that warmer weather is “urgently needed” to improve growing conditions.

Editor’s note: Richard Brock, The Corn And Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.