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Understanding NASS’s planting percentage

Some farmers have questioned the planting percentages in the USDA’s Weekly Crop Progress reports. 

Lance Honig with the National Ag Statistics Service says the percentage of the crop planted isn’t related to any specific acreage estimate. “One of the common questions is ‘well does that tie back to acreage estimate in the Prospective Plantings report’ or does it tie back to – particularly in corn because the acreage was updated in the WASDE this month – does it tie back to those acres,” he says.  “And the answer is no to both of those questions.”

He tells Brownfield the planted percentage each week gives an indication of how far along in the planting progress farmers are on a weekly basis.  “That does not mean that a farmer planted every acre of that crop that they had hoped to or they had intended to at some point,” he says. 

For example, Honig says if a farmer has 500 acres of corn planted and 125 acres of corn that can’t be planted, that farmer is considered 100 percent planted.

He says they finished collecting information from farmers last week for the annual acreage report which comes out June 28th.  

AUDIO: Lance Honig, USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service

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