Nebraska Corn and Soybean Planting Progress – Spring 2024

Tractor with seeder planting corn
To see how your planting progress compares to the statewide progress reported by USDA NASS, view the latest crop progress report here.

Nebraska Corn and Soybean Planting Progress – Spring 2024

It is of interest to monitor the weekly Nebraska corn and soybean planting progress. NASS issues a text report of statewide weekly progress of each crop every Monday. For the week ending May 12, 2024, that NASS-NE report can be found here. If you prefer to view a graphical display of all 2024 weekly planting values to date, a NASS-NE graph can be found here.

Last year, a retrospective analysis of NASS-NE corn and soybean planting progress data collected from 1980 and its predictive value in final Nebraska corn and soybean yields was published in CropWatch and the four key take-away points can be found here.

The NASS-NE estimates of planting progress as of May 12, 2024, were 55% for corn and 37% for soybean. We were curious as to the planting progress achieved on that same date by individual Nebraska growers across the state, and Dr. Specht queried a random sample of 14 of them as to their respective 2024 corn and soybean planting progress on their farms (owned and leased), the planter bar row units and row spacing, and how many acres of each crop they typically plant per day (assuming suitable weather and soil conditions). The 14 growers wished to remain anonymous relative to their contributed information, so we assigned each a number to ensure confidentiality.

In Figure 1, the percentage planting progress is shown by a blue bar for corn and red bar for soybean for each Nebraska grower. Note that while grower 1 had planted 100% of both crops by May 12, 2024, grower 14 had not yet planted any of either (due to continual rain showers at the farm). On average (over growers), 79% of the corn and 44% of the soybeans on these 14 farms were planted by May 12, 2024.

Graph of soybean and corn planted percentages
Figure 1. The percentage of corn and soybean planted as of May 12, 2024 by 14 Nebraska growers. The growers are represented by assigned numbers 1 through 14 in Figures 1-3.
Graph of row units on planters for each grower
Figure 2. The number of row units on the corn planter (blue) and soybean planter (red) used by the Nebraska growers surveyed for this article.
Average acres planted
Figure 3. The number of acres each grower typically plants during suitable conditions.

In Figure 2, the number of row units on the corn planter (blue) and soybean planter (red) used by the grower are shown (two growers have one planter used for both crops; other growers have one for each crop; one has four planters).  All grower corn planters have 30-inch rows (except grower 1, who plants corn in 15-inch rows). Grower soybean planters vary in row width from 30, 15, 10 and 7.5 inches (noted at the base of the red bars in the chart).

In Figure 3, growers indicated how many acres of either crop that they would typically plant if the weather and soil were suitable. As is evident, there is quite a range (320 acres/day to 70 acres/day), which of course is dependent on the planter width, planting speed, whether planting can be started before dawn and continue after dusk, and operator availability relative to working time per day.

Ultimately, planting progress can go quickly when conditions are right, and we’ve seen a number of acres go in throughout the state this past week. Nebraska grower-readers may want to size up their planting progress for corn and soybean next week on the end of the day of May 17, 2024, if only to see how their progress compares with the NASS-NE progress that will be reported the next day.

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