Reno County Farm Bureau Association President Cameron Peirce was busy planting crops this spring. As of yesterday, Peirce, like many other farmers throughout Kansas, had his corn in the ground, and he had started on soybeans.


But unlike most, he has already planted his sunflowers.


According to the USDA and the Kansas State University Extension Service report, as of May 10, corn planting is considerably ahead of last year. More than 60% was planted in 2020. At this time last year, only 45% of the corn crop was in the ground. Almost one-third of the corn planted this year has emerged.


As for soybeans, a little less than 25% was planted. Sorghum is at 5%, sunflowers at 2% and cotton at just under 20%.


Last week, statewide, both top and subsoil moisture supplies were adequate, with more than five suitable days of fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.


With much of the central and eastern part of the state having rain, this week was a different story. This is helping wheat.


The USDA and the K-State Extension Service report the majority of winter wheat statewide is fair to excellent, with almost one quarter of the crop reported as poor or very poor.


“The wheat is taking full advantage of this moisture,” Peirce said.


Based on May 1 conditions, according to the USDA, Kansas's 2020 winter wheat crop is forecast at 306 million bushels. This is a 10% decrease from last year's crop, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The average yield is forecast at 47 bushels per acre; down five bushels from one year ago. The acreage that will be harvested for grain, more than six million acres, is estimated to be unchanged from last year.


“We (farmers in Kansas) consider ourselves well diversified (in crops),” Peirce said. “We don’t always hit a home run, and we don’t always strike out.”