U.S. farmers continue to be busy in the fields, making good progress getting the 2012 corn crop 87% planted and the soybeans 46% planted, according to the May 14 USDA Crop Progress report. This is 21 and 22 points, respectively, ahead of the five-year average.

Many states are nearly done planting corn, including Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Kansas, Kowa, Illinois and Indiana. Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan lag the furthest behind at 57%, 56% and 60% planted so far. Iowa made a lot of planting progress in the last week, going from 64% planted last week to 90% this week. Colorado also jumped 26 points to 84% complete, as well as North Dakota with 83% of its corn crop in the ground.

A year ago at this time, only 16% of the corn crop was popping out of the ground. What a difference this year, as 56% of the crop is up overall – well ahead of the 28% five-year average. Farmers in Wisconsin are seeing green this week, finally, with 13% of its corn crop emerging; a nice leap over nothing last week.

As growers finish up planting corn, they're moving right into soybeans and making good progress. Iowa farmers made big progress planting beans in the last week, going from 7% on May 7 to 39% this week. Nebraska farmers planted almost as many beans, reaching the 60% planted mark this week compared to last week's 29%. The farmers in North Dakota take the cake on bean planting, though. They were 11% planted last week. As of May 14, they have 51% of their soybeans in the ground, well ahead of the 10% five-year average.

Sixteen percent of the soybean crop is emerging. Interesting to note that last year at this time, only 17% of the crop had even been planted. Farmers in all states but Wisconsin are seeing soybean shoots pop out of the ground. Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota are seeing beans in the field this week, after no emergence last week.