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USDA crop progress: Corn plantings slightly below expectations

Koele/iStock/Getty Images planting
Analysts correctly predict soybean plantings would reach 3%.

Planting progress is expected to slow down later this week, thanks to a widespread cold snap that will even bring some snow to parts of the Corn Belt. But farmers still made some headway this past week, per the USDA’s latest weekly crop progress report, out Monday afternoon.

Corn planting progress reached 8% through April 18, which was up from the prior week’s tally of 4% but a point below the average trade guess of 9%. Seven of the top 18 production states have at least made double-digit progress so far, led by Texas (60%).

And 2% of the crop is now emerged, with southern states Texas (51%), North Carolina (13%) and Tennessee (5%) accounting for most of that progress so far. Beltwide, this year’s crop is moving along a bit more quickly than the prior five-year average of 1%.

For soybeans, 3% of the crop has been planted through Sunday, which is in line with analyst expectations and ahead of the prior five-year average of 2%. Mississippi (15%), Arkansas (12%) and Louisiana (10%) have made the most progress among the top 18 production states so far.

For spring wheat, planting progress moved from 11% a week ago up to 19%, besting the average trade guess of 17% and moving further ahead of the prior five-year average of 12%. Washington leads the pack among the top six production states, with 71% completion, followed by South Dakota (46%) and Idaho (46%).

Physiologically, 10% of the 2020/21 winter wheat crop is headed. That’s up from 5% a week ago but below the prior five-year average of 14%. Only seven of the top 18 production states have made measurable forays into this category so far, led by Texas (41%).

Quality ratings for winter wheat held steady, with 53% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition. Analysts expected USDA to dock quality a point, in contrast. Another 30% was rated fair, with the remaining 17% rated poor or very poor – all unchanged from last week.

Click here to read the latest USDA crop progress report in its entirety.

Follow along with the season:

USDA crop progress: Corn plantings only at 4% 

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