The U.S. corn crop is 96 percent planted, significantly ahead of 2011's 75 percent and the 81 percent average of the last few years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest assessment of the growing season.

An early spring and cooperative weather are the primary factors, says the USDA. As of May 20, Tennessee had 100 percent of its corn crop planted. Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina had 99 percent of their corn crops planted, and Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota and Nebraska were just behind with 98 percent of their crops in the ground. Nearly all of these percentages far surpass where the states were in 2011, according to the USDA.


Seventy-six percent of the corn crop has emerged nationally, with 62 percent of the crop at "good" status, 20 percent at "fair" and 15 percent at "excellent." As of May 20, 99 percent of Tennessee's crop had emerged, with North Carolina next at 93 percent and Kentucky third at 89 percent.