Winds, cold and wet slow planting

Planting progress for North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and surrounding states is far below normal for mid-May. Farmers have been delayed in getting the 2022 crop in the ground due to late cold temperatures and now excessive rain and storms.

A green planter operates in the foreground as a woman farm operator looks back to watch its progress, planting soybeans.
Parker, South Dakota, farmer Anne Waltner puts in soybeans on May 10, 2022. Only 15% of soybeans plantings had been made by May 16, 2022, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service's weekly Crop and Weather Summary.
Mikkel Pates / Agweek
We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO, N.D. — Planting progress for the region’s crops is far behind normal for mid-May, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The agency, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reports that storms and heavy rainfall limited farmers in their field days and progress in the past week.

North Dakota

With an average of only 1.9 days suitable for fieldwork, North Dakota soybean planting progress reached 2%, well behind 48% last year and an average of 24% for the past five years at this date.

North Dakota corn was 4% planted, compared to 59% last year and 41% average. Corn planting was only 1% the week before.

Spring wheat planting was 17%, far behind the 81% progress last year and the 60% average for the date. About 2% was emerged, behind 34% last year and behind the 20% average.


Canola was 6% planted, compared to 35% last year and 33% average.

Winter wheat was 43% jointed compared to 53% last year, ahead of the 31% average, with 63% ranked “good” to “excellent.”

Other crop percentages:

Durum wheat, 9% planted, 54% last year; 45% average.

Oats, 21% planted, 71% last year; 54% average.

Barley, 11% planted, 79% last year, 58% average. Only 3% of the barley had emerged, 32% last year, 18% average.

Dry edible beans, 13% planted, 63% last year; 56% average. Only 3% was emerged, compared to the 14% average.

Flaxseed 5% planted, 30% last year, 25% average.


Potatoes, 3% planted, 58% last year, 44% average.

Sugarbeet planting increased from 2% the previous week to 9%, compared to 98% last year at this time, and an average of 84% for the date.

After recent rains, pasture and range conditions are highly variable: 3% very poor, 25% poor; 38% fair, 27% good and 7% excellent. Stock water is rated 2% very short, 13% short, 74% adequate, and 11% surplus.


Topsoil moisture is 64% adequate and 27% surplus, similar to last week, but far better than a year ago, when 51% of the state was rated short or very short. Only 2.9 days were fit for fieldwork.

Corn was 35% planted as of the May 16, 2022, report, up from 9% the previous week. Progress compares to 94% complete at this date last year, and a five-year average of 72%. Soybeans are 1% planted, compared to 85% last year and a five-year average of 47%.

Progress for other crops: spring wheat, 5%; oats, 44%, barley, 16%; dry edible beans, 1%; potatoes, 36%; sugarbeets, 8%.

Hay condition in the state was rated 17% poor or very poor; 33% fair; 43% good and 7% excellent. Pasture condition is 22% poor, 38% fair, 40% good to excellent.

South Dakota

Despite a terrible wind storm on May 12, 2022, South Dakota counted 4 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies are 8% very short, 20% short, 56% adequate and 16% surplus. Subsoil moisture is rated 12% very short, 28% short, 54% adequate and 6% surplus.


Corn planting is 31% complete, well behind the 83% planted last year and behind the 54% five-year average for the date. Only 1% was emerged, down from 17% last year and a 12% average for the date.

Soybean planting is 15% complete, well behind the 61% planted last year at this date, and behind the 28% average.

Winter wheat condition was rated 3% very poor, 21% poor, 52% fair, 23% good, and 1% excellent. Farmers planted 78% of expected spring wheat acres, compared to 96% last year and 84% average. About 43% was emerged, well behind last year’s 74% and behind a 53% five-year average.

Other crops planting progress: Oats, 74%; sorghum, 11%; sunflowers, 1%.

Pasture and range conditions are reported 17% very poor, 27% poor; 41% fair 15% good and 0% excellent.


Counties along the eastern border received nearly 1.5 inches of rain, while average temperatures were average to 4 degrees lower than average. The U.S. Drought Monitor had 93% of the state in drought conditions. About 92% of the beef cows had calved, about on par with previous years.

“Moderate drought conditions increased to cover 20.1% of the state while severe drought conditions decreased slightly to cover 46.2% of the state,” the report said. “Extreme drought conditions remained at 19.1%.”

Spring snowstorms took a toll. Some producers reported losing 25% of their calf crop, as well as some adult cows.

Corn planting was 25%, compared to 7% last week and the five-year average of 42%.

Spring wheat planting was 70% complete, compared to 50% last week, 68% last year, and 66% average.

Other crop planting included: Canola, 45% percent planted, 42% average; dry edible beans (includes chickpeas), 80%, 73% average; dry edible peas, 80% planted, 73% average; durum wheat, 50% planted, 48% average; flaxseed, 40%, equal to average; lentils, 72%, 67% average; mustard seed, 65%, 41% average; Oats, 50% equal to average.

Sugarbeets were 20% planted.

Mikkel Pates is an agricultural journalist, creating print, online and television stories for Agweek magazine and Agweek TV.
What to read next
This week on AgweekTV, we’ll visit with high profile policy makers as they gathered in Fargo to discuss the current state of the ag industry. We’ll take a look at the USDA acreage report and ask a market expert what it all means. Once again, we will show our Flags on Farms feature. Finally, we’ll discuss a North Dakota ag tech giant that has an easier way for farmers to get paid for their grain.
Thousands of feedlot cattle in Kansas died from a combination of factors revolving around excessive heat, but it likely won't have much impact on the cattle market.
Bob Worth has volunteered as an MSGA director since 2002, serving in various capacities including president, secretary and treasurer. Most recently, Worth was vice president of the MSGA.
Sarah Vogel was a young lawyer in the 1980s when she brought a national class action lawsuit, pitting her against the Department of Justice in her fight for family farmers’ constitutional rights.