USDA Weekly Crop Progress - USDA Holds Steady on Winter Wheat Condition as Planting Slows

OMAHA (DTN) -- USDA downgraded the winter wheat condition only marginally in its weekly Crop Progress and Conditions report, despite reports of widespread damage from the Plains. Continued wet and cool weather in parts of the Corn Belt continued to hamper fieldwork, and corn and soybean planting slipped behind the average pace yet again for the week ending May 7.

The percentage of winter wheat rated in good to excellent condition dropped only a single percentage point from 54% last week.

"Fifty-three percent of the winter wheat crop was rated good-to-excellent, resulting in a DTN Winter Wheat Condition Index of 129, down 5 points from a week ago," said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. "DTN's index is down from 158 a year ago, but above the five-year average of 97. Monday's crop ratings for wheat are still suspect, but taken at face value are slightly bullish for winter wheat."

Exactly 50% of the winter wheat crop was reported to be heading, up from the five-year average of 46%, but behind 55% last year at this time.

Corn is 47% planted, behind the average pace of 52%, as well as last year's brisk pace of 61%. Corn emergence is at 14%, dropping four points behind the five-year average of 19% and a full 10 points behind last year's pace of 25%.

"Monday's report is slightly bullish for corn," Hultman said.

Soybean planting also slipped behind the average pace this past week. Soybeans are 14% planted, down from 17% on average and 21% last year.

"Monday's report is neutral for soybeans," Hultman said.

Spring wheat is 54% planted and 21% emerged, compared to 74% and 37% last year, and 60% and 29% on average. "Monday's report is slightly bullish for spring wheat," Hultman said.

Cotton is 21% planted, compared to 25% last year and on average. Rice is 76% planted and 65% emerged, compared to 81% and 65% last year and 71% and 53% on average.

Sorghum is 30% planted, just up from 29% last year, but the same as the five-year average. Barley is 53% planted and 26% emerged, compared to 76% and 44% last year and 68% and 35% on average. Oats are 79% planted and 59% emerged, compared to 87% and 68% last year and 79% and 60% on average.

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