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USDA crop progress: Corn plantings only at 4%

Planting progress fails to meet analyst expectations so far.

Ben Potter

April 12, 2021

2 Min Read
iStock/Getty Images

Planters have begun to roll for the 2021 crop season – just a bit more slowly than analysts were anticipating, per the latest crop progress report from USDA, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through April 11.

Across the top 18 production states, only 4% of the corn crop is in the ground through Sunday, per USDA. That was two points below analyst expectations, with an average trade guess of 6%. Still, planting has started off slightly quicker than the prior five-year average of 3%.

Texas has by far made the most progress, with 57% of the state’s corn crop now planted, followed by fellow southern states North Carolina (16%), Tennessee (11%) and Kentucky (10%). Nine other states have measurable progress of between 1% and 8%.

Texas also leads the way in 2021 sorghum planting progress, with 49% of the state’s crop now in the ground. But the other five top production states have yet to see any measurable planting progress, according to USDA.

In contrast, spring wheat planting progress is off to a better-than-expected start, with 11% planted through April 11 and jumping well above the prior week’s tally of 3%. That was three points ahead of the average trade guess of 8% and nearly double the five-year average of 6%.

For winter wheat, crop quality held mostly steady this past week, with 53% in good-to-excellent condition through Sunday. Another 30% is rated fair (down a point from last week), with the remaining 17% rated poor or very poor (up a point from last week).

Physiologically, 5% of the crop is now headed, up from 4% a week ago and down from the prior five-year average of 7%. Texas (26%) and Arkansas (12%) lead the way among the top 18 production states so far in this maturity category.

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

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Crop Progress

About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings more than 14 years of professional agricultural communications and journalism experience to Farm Futures. He began working in the industry in the highly specific world of southern row crop production. Since that time, he has expanded his knowledge to cover a broad range of topics relevant to agriculture, including agronomy, machinery, technology, business, marketing, politics and weather. He has won several writing awards from the American Agricultural Editors Association, most recently on two features about drones and farmers who operate distilleries as a side business. Ben is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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