Planting is 5 percent complete, just 1 percent ahead of where farmers were on April 22 and the slowest pace since 1984. Analysts had predicted corn planting to be at 9 percent by the end of April. In Iowa, the top corn-producing state, planting is at 2 percent, while Illinois and Indiana are both at just 1 percent, according to reports. "Wet fields are the topic for most farmers across the state," said the Illinois field office of the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. "The heavy rains from the week before combined with the cooler-than-normal temperatures have many fields still too wet. There has been no significant planting done yet."
The five-year U.S. average for the end of April is 31 percent, while in 2012 farmers had finished 49 percent of their corn planting. "Our main concern is not that we didn't get most of our crop planted by the end of April, it's just we're not quite sure when we're going to start," said Emerson Nafziger, agronomist at the University of Illinois. Farmers usually aim to have their crop planted by mid-May to ensure that the corn has enough time to mature so it can withstand the heat of the Midwest summer.