2020 Spring Planting Update

Insurance operations have changed with restrictions on travel and contact, but business is getting done. FMH field staff give their late May planting reports from across the United States.


Planting progress this spring has been well above last year’s pace and slightly above the five-year average. As of the May 26 release, the USDA Crop Progress report lists corn planting progress at 88% complete, compared to 55% in 2019. Planting progress for soybeans is 65% complete, well above last year’s pace at 26%.

For many FMH field staff, weather hasn’t been the only challenge this season. Travel and contact restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic have changed the way both agents and staff operate and resulted in other issues like delays with 578 reports at FSA offices. However, many report that their communication lines have been open and busy throughout this planting season.

Check out our field staff’s late May planting reports from across the U.S.:


Rita Deveny - District Sales Manager; Central District
“We went from dry conditions to heavy rainfall amounts. In south-central Nebraska planting is mostly done, but there will be many spots now that have to be replanted due to the heavy rains. The Panhandle had many still working on planting, and hail along I-80 – starting at about Sidney and going west – has damaged the wheat crop.”

Ken Ripley - Strategic Account Manager; West Territory
“Planting progress in my territory has been mixed. Southern Minnesota and northern Iowa had great conditions and many producers finished planting the first week of May. Southern South Dakota had better conditions and many producers are finished. Northern South Dakota and central South Dakota received more rain and those areas will have anywhere from 10-25% prevent plant again this year.”

Greg Taylor - District Sales Manager; Northwest District
“Planting in my area is complete and most of the territory was able to get planted with very few challenges. Currently the crops are looking good, and it looks to be good weather ahead with some warm temperatures. The crops will be looking really good if we do not have any storms move in. The past two weeks have been a roller coaster ride of weather events and bitter cold temps for this late in the season, but the crops seem to be doing just fine.”

Chock Hefner - District Sales Manager; Southern Wheat Belt District
“Planting conditions vary across my territory. Southeast Kansas can’t seem to have it quit raining and southwest Kansas and eastern Colorado are very dry! There will be some prevent plant in southeast Kansas, and there’s talk about some in areas where it’s too dry as well.”

Mitch Holland - Strategic Account Manager; East Territory
“One of my agents in northeast Mississippi reports that his area has seen extremely wet planting conditions with some prevent plant or replants common and much left to plant. Weather seems to be the biggest challenge now.”