Corn and soybean planting continued to progress ahead of schedule last week despite some rain delays, and crop emergence was helped by favorable temperatures.

Monday’s USDA crop update reported that 68% of the U.S. corn crop had been planted by Sunday, up from 50% a week earlier and well ahead of last year’s pace of 32% and the five-year average of 40%.

USDA pegged U.S. soybean planting progress at 15%, up from 5% a year earlier and an average pace of 8%.

Corn planting progress continues at the fastest pace in recorded history, surpassing the 63% progress reported for the same date in 2004. Soybean planting progress is the highest recorded by USDA for the date, ahead of 2001, when roughly 13% of the crop had been planted by May 2.

USDA reported that 19% of the U.S. corn crop had emerged by Sunday, up from only 4% a year earlier and the five-year average of 9%.

Corn planting is already winding down in the heart of the Corn Belt, with 84% of the crop already in the ground in the top-growing state of Iowa and planting 87% complete in both the No. 2 corn state of Illinois and the No. 3 state of Minnesota.

A year ago at this time, only 5% of the Illinois crop had been planted due to extremely wet, cool conditions across the state. This year, 39% of the Illinois crop has already emerged, when none was reported a year ago.

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