Planters moved across Iowa fields at a good clip last week, jumping the amount of corn planted from nine to 50-percent by end of the week. That’s way ahead of the five-year average of 32%.

National Corn Growers Association economist, Paul Bertels, says the early planting fuels optimism for a good harvest Bertels says, “There’s a lot of things that can happen between now and fall but from what we hear, they’re off to a good start.”

He says the recent rains have taken away some of the concern about having enough soil moisture. He says the weather hasn’t created too many problems for farmers so far.

“Right now, moisture does not seem to be a problem in most of the Corn Belt, either too much or too little,” he says. “This cold weather over the past two weeks, that’s a little troubling and it might slow the emergence down a bit, but things are off to a good start.”

In the 18 states that grow the vast majority of the nation’s corn, 53% of the crop is in the ground.