USDA Weekly Crop Progress - Corn Planting Leaps Ahead

OMAHA (DTN) -- U.S. corn planting progress leapt ahead last week, putting this year's pace ahead of the five-year average, USDA NASS said in its weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

NASS estimated that 27% of this year's intended corn crop was planted as of Sunday, April 26, a gain of 20 percentage points last week from 7% at the end of the previous week. That puts this year's progress well ahead of last year's 12% and also 7 points ahead of the five-year average of 20%.

The trade was expecting corn to be 22%-26% planted, said DTN Senior Analyst Dana Mantini.

Notable corn-planting progress was seen in Illinois at 37% versus 31% average; Iowa at 39% versus 20% average and up 37 points for the week; Nebraska at 20% planted versus a 16% average and up 18 percentage points last week; and Minnesota at 40% done versus a 19% average and up 39% from last week, Mantini said.

In its first corn emergence report of the season, NASS estimated that 3% of the crop had emerged as of Sunday, slightly ahead of 2% last year but slightly behind the average pace of 4%.

Soybean planting also moved ahead last week, but at a slower pace than corn planting. NASS estimated that, as of Sunday, 8% of the intended soybean crop was planted, up 6 percentage points from 2% at the end of the previous week. Like corn, this year's soybean planting progress is ahead of both last year's place of 2% and the five-year average of 4%.

Traders has been expecting soybeans to be 6%-9% planted, Mantini said.

Spring wheat planting, on the other hand, continued to run well behind the average pace. Fourteen percent of spring wheat was planted of Sunday, ahead of 11% last year but well behind the five-year average of 29%. Four percent of spring wheat was emerged, equal to last year's pace but behind the five-year average of 7%.

Meanwhile, winter wheat conditions took another hit last week. NASS estimated that 54% of the nation's winter wheat was rated in good-to-excellent condition, down 3 percentage points from 57% the previous week. That followed a 5-percentage-point drop in the previous week's report. The current rating is also below the average of 64% good to excellent. Poor-to-very poor ratings rose to 15% from 13% last week and above 8% last year.

Notable state winter wheat good-to-excellent ratings were Kansas at 40%, Nebraska at 64%, Oklahoma at 62% and Texas at 57%, Mantini noted.

Winter wheat was 21% headed as of Sunday versus a five-year average of 25%.

Sorghum was 20% planted, slightly ahead of 19% last year but behind the five-year average of 23%. Oats were 54% planted, compared to 41% last year and a 56% average. Oats emergence was at 32%, compared to 30% last year and a 37% average. Barley was 24% planted, slightly behind 25% last year, and well behind the five-year average of 36%.

Cotton planting was 13% complete, compared to 10% last year and an 11% average. Rice was 39% planted, ahead of 36% last year but behind the average of 53%. Rice emerged was 23%, slightly behind the average of 34%.

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