Crop Conditions Mixed Across Region


May 23, 2022



The Spring of 2022 has been a battle for many crop producers in the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains States, as they have tried to get corn and soybeans planted on a timely basis. Some favorable weather in mid-May has allowed significant planting progress in some areas of the region. A fairly large amount of corn and soybeans remains to be planted in portions of Central and Northern Minnesota, North Dakota, and Northern South Dakota. Frequent rainfall events have caused further planting delays in some of the hardest hit areas of the region, as well as leading to standing water in some fields that were previously planted.

Based on the May 16 USDA Crop Progress Report, 49 percent of the corn in the U.S. was planted, compared to 79 percent in 2021, and a five-year (2017-2021) average of 67 percent planted. States that were the furthest behind included North Dakota with only 4 percent of the corn planted by May 16, which compared to a five-year average of 41 percent, Minnesota with 35 percent of the corn planted, compared to a 5-year average of 71 percent, and South Dakota with 31 percent planted, compared to a 5-year average of 54 percent. States with over half of the corn planted by May 16 included Nebraska at 62 percent, Iowa at 57 percent, and Illinois at 55 percent; however, all of these States were 13-15 percent behind the 5-year average planting progress for that date.

The USDA report showed that 30 percent of the U.S. soybean crop were planted by May 16, which was behind the five-year average of 39 percent of soybeans planted and compared to 58 percent planted by that date in 2021. Only 11 percent of the soybeans were planted in Minnesota by May 16, which was well behind the five-year average of 47 percent planted and compared to 85 percent of soybeans planted by the same date in 2021. Other States with very limited soybeans planted by May 16 included North Dakota with only 2 percent planted and South Dakota with 15 percent planted. Soybean planting progress in other States included Nebraska at 44 percent, Illinois at 38 percent, and Iowa at 34 percent, all of which were below the 5-year average.

Research at Land-Grant Universities in the Upper Midwest shows that it is still possible to get approximately 90 percent of an average corn yield with corn planted from May 20-25; however, the yield potential starts to decline more rapidly after that date. Since a large amount of the unplanted corn is in the northern segments of the Corn Belt, there is also concern with the corn reaching maturity in a timely manner prior to the first frost. Some farmers are switching to earlier corn hybrids, provided that they are able to locate those hybrids. Producers in portions of the region have also dealt with uneven crop emergence due to significant soil crusting following very hard pounding rains in the past few weeks.

Some drier weather in the past week in portions of Upper Midwest has allowed for significant corn and soybean planting in some locations across the region. The warmer temperatures prior to this past weekend and adequate moisture allowed for rapid germination of the later planted crops, and some very good growing conditions. As of May 18, a total of 191.5 growing degree units (GDU”s) had been accumulated at the University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center at Waseca since May 1, which is 21 percent greater than normal. As a result of the above average GDU’s and warm soil temperatures, together with adequate soil moisture, some of the later planted corn and soybeans have emerged 5-7 days after planting.

As of May 23, the Research Center at Waseca had received 3.52 inches of precipitation during the month of May, which is near normal; however, many locations across the Upper Midwest have received considerably more rainfall during May. This has resulted in the significant planting delays, as well as standing water in numerous fields across the region. Farmers in the hardest hit areas are hoping for a nice stretch of weather in late May to complete the 2022 corn and soybean planting.


In the areas with significant planting delays, farm operators may soon have to make some difficult decisions …… should they continue to plant earlier corn hybrids or switch to soybeans, or if they reach the “final planting date” for crop insurance, should they file a prevented planting” crop insurance claim. Farmers in Western, Central, and Northern Minnesota, as well as in North and South Dakota, are dealing with very wet field conditions and delayed crop planting. Unless conditions improve soon, some producers could be forced to consider not planting a portion of their crops in 2022. As we approach late May, producers in the affected areas will be evaluating their crop insurance coverage for late planting or prevented planting options, as compared to the yield and profit potential for late planted corn and soybeans.

In most counties in North and South Dakota and Nebraska, as well as in Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, the “final planting date” for corn planting with full insurance coverage in 2022 is May 25. The “late planting period” for corn lasts for the next 25 days, which would be from May 26 to June 19, with a reduction in the maximum insurance coverage level of one percent for each day that corn planting is delayed past May 25. The “final planting date” for full crop insurance coverage for corn is May 31 in the southern two-thirds of Minnesota, all of Iowa, most of Wisconsin, as well as a few counties in both Southeast South Dakota and North Dakota. The “late planting period” in these areas extends from June 1 to 25. Following the late planting period, the maximum crop insurance coverage is 55 percent of the original crop insurance guarantee, which is the same as the insurance compensation for “prevented planted” crop acres.

For soybeans, the “final planting date” is June 10 in all of Minnesota and Nebraska, eastern North and South Dakota, and the northern two-thirds of Wisconsin, with the late planting period extending 25 days until July 5. The final soybean planting date in Iowa and the southern one-third of Wisconsin is June 15, with a late planting period lasting until July 10. As with corn, there is reduction of one percent per day in the maximum insurance coverage during the late planting period, with 60 percent maximum insurance coverage after that period.

Once the crop insurance “final planting date” for corn or soybeans has been reached for corn or soybeans, farm operators can opt to take the prevented planting insurance coverage, if they have that coverage option, rather than planting the crop. A large majority of producers in the Upper Midwest carry Revenue Protection (RP) crop insurance with prevented planting coverage on their corn and soybeans. If they choose the prevented planting coverage, they will receive 55 percent of their original crop insurance guarantee for corn and 60 percent for soybeans on a specific farm unit, which can be increased by 5 percent if a “buy-up” option was purchased by the March 15th crop insurance deadline.

Producers should contact their crop insurance agent for more details on final planting dates and prevented planting options with various crop insurance policies, before making a final decision on prevented planting. The prevented plated acres need to be reported to their crop insurance agent. The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) has some very good crop insurance fact sheets and prevented planting information available on their web site at:

Kent Thiesse, Farm Management Analyst, has prepared an information sheet titled: “Late and Prevented Planting Options for 2022”, which contains details on prevented planting requirements and considerations, as well as Tables comparing the potential results for options of late planting or prevented planting with normal production for corn and soybeans. A copy of the information sheet is attached with this Column. If there are questions on the prevented planting information sheet or if you would like an additional copy of the information sheet, please send an e-mail to:

****************************************************************************************** Note — For additional information contact Kent Thiesse, Farm Management Analyst and Sr. Vice President, MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. (Phone — (507) 381-7960) E-mail — Web Site — http://www


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