Margaret A Smith, PhD | Agronomist
Jake Hansen | Corn and Soybean Agronomist

Corn Planting Progress

Corn planting progress is variable across the Corn Belt with some states behind and some ahead of their 5-year average planting progress. As of May 12, Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois were farther behind their average pace of planting intended corn acres than most of the region, while North Dakota and Ohio were ahead of their average planting progress. (See Table 1.)

TABLE 1.  Corn planting progress across U.S. Corn Belt states, May 12, 2024

Corn planting, 2024 5 -year average planting progress Percent points difference from the average
State Percent planted
North Dakota 22 15 +7
South Dakota 32 40 -8
Minnesota 56 56 0
Iowa 57 70 -13
Wisconsin 40 38 +2
Michigan 26 30 -4
Nebraska 55 65 -10
Illinois 42 56 -14
Indiana 36 39 -3
Ohio 36 24 +12
Missouri 72 69 +3
Pennsylvania 29 26 +3


Planting progress is not very far removed from the long-term averages, but there are very wet pockets in the Upper Midwest and more rain is forecast in the coming 10 days.

Long-term studies and trends illustrate that corn yield potential is reduced when planting is pushed into late May.


Adjusting Corn Relative Maturity (CRM) When Planting is Delayed

As planting is delayed, corn will develop and mature with fewer growing degree days (GDDS) than when planted early, so full-season hybrids can be planted later and still mature in good time. In the Northern Corn Belt, getting late-planted corn to maturity before frost can present a challenge. When planting after May 21-25, to increase your chances of best economic yield (combined grain yield and dry down), we suggest shortening your corn relative maturities by 5 to 7 days. Guidelines for late planting date adjustments vary a bit by individual state recommendations (Table 2.).

Organic growers planting into this May 21-25 planting window have likely already selected shorter-maturity hybrids.

For both conventional and organic farms, if corn planting is delayed beyond June 1-5, reduce maturities an additional 5-7 days or switch to soybeans. For June planting for silage, switch to very early corn maturities, forage sorghum or sorghum x sudangrass hybrids.

In the Southern Corn Belt, hybrid maturities can be held constant through June 1 planting, due to a longer growing season and less threat of frost damage in the fall.

Table 2. Corn Late Planting Guidelines



Adjusted CRM

University of Minnesota May 21-28, May 29-June 4 5-7 days earlier, 8-15 days earlier
University of Wisconsin May 21 7 days earlier
South Dakota State University May 25, June 5 5 days earlier, 10 days earlier
Iowa State University June 1 Not defined (AL Seed suggests 5-7 days earlier)
Purdue University Last week of May Not defined

Check your state’s specific late corn planting recommendations with the links provided, below.