USDA Weekly Crop Progress - Planting Progress Jumps Ahead Thanks to Drier Weather

OMAHA (DTN) -- Corn planting jumped to a slightly ahead-of-average pace and soybean planting caught up to the average pace last week thanks to drier conditions across the central U.S., according to USDA's weekly Crop Progress report released Monday.

USDA estimated 71% of U.S. corn was planted as of Sunday, May 14, down from 73% a year ago but slightly above the five-year average of 70%. USDA also said 31% of U.S. corn was emerged, down from 41% a year ago and down from the five-year average of 36% emerged. Monday's report is neutral for corn, said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman.

Soybean planting also jumped ahead with USDA reporting 32% of U.S. soybeans planted, down from 34% a year ago but even with the five-year average of 32%. USDA said 8% of U.S. soybeans were emerged, down slightly from 9% a year ago and from the five-year average of 9%. "Monday's report is neutral for soybeans," Hultman said.

While last week was a banner week for planting, the condition of the nation's winter wheat crop didn't fare as well in Monday's report.

Fifty-one of the winter wheat crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition, resulting in a DTN Winter Wheat Condition Index of 120, down 9 points from a week ago. DTN's index is down from 156 a year ago, but still above the five-year average of 95. "Monday's crop ratings are bullish for winter wheat," Hultman said.

USDA reported that 63% of winter wheat is headed, down from 66% a year ago, but up from the five-year average of 57% headed.

Meanwhile, U.S. spring wheat planting reached 78% complete as of Sunday, down from last year's 87%, but above the five-year average of 73% planted. Forty percent of spring wheat was emerged, down from 57% a year ago and down from the five-year average of 44%. "Monday's report is neutral for spring wheat," Hultman said.

In other crop reports, cotton was 33% planted, compared to 38% last year and 37% average. Rice as 83% planted and 73% emerged, compared to 86% and 755% last year and 81% and 65% on average.

Sorghum was 32% planted, slightly behind the five-year average of 35%. Barley was 78% planted and 42% emerged, compared to 88% and 65% last year and 79% and 50% on average. Oats were 91% planted and 72% emerged, compared to 93% and 79% last year and 87% and 71% on average.

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