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Crop progress: Corn planters are rolling

Wheat quality remains at one of the lowest levels on record.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

April 17, 2023

2 Min Read
Tractor planting corn
Getty Images

The latest crop progress report from USDA, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through April 16, showed some uneven corn planting progress as snowy weather continues to plague parts of the upper Midwest and Northern Plains. USDA also offered its first soybean planting data for the 2023 season and revealed steady winter wheat quality conditions from a week ago.

Corn planting progress reached 8% last week, up from the prior week’s tally of 3%. That’s a bit slower than analysts were expecting after offering an average trade guess of 10% ahead of today’s report. Texas leads the way, with 65% completion, while Missouri is trending well above historical averages after making it to 30%. Meantime, six of the top 18 production states, including Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Dakota, have yet to make any measurable progress so far.

Soybean plantings are just getting underway, with a nationwide average of 4%. That’s better than the prior five-year average of 2% and also two points ahead of the average trade guess. Southern States Louisiana (30%) and Mississippi (23%) are leading the charge so far. Seven of the top 18 production states have yet to make measurable progress, however.

Other regional crops have made some initial planting progress as well, including:

  • Cotton – 8%

  • Sorghum – 15%

  • Rice – 38%

  • Peanuts – 1%

  • Sugarbeets – 13%

Winter wheat quality ratings held steady from the prior week, with 27% of the crop in good-to-excellent condition through April 16. Another 34% is rated fair (down two points from last week), with the remaining 39% rated poor or very poor (up two points from last week). In Kansas, the country’s top winter wheat producer, only 14% of the crop is rated in good-to-excellent condition.

Physiologically, 10% of the crop is now headed, up from 7% a week ago and two points ahead of the prior five-year average. Regional differences are quite apparent, with only seven of the top 18 production states showing measurable progress at this time.

Click here to read more highlights from the latest UDSA crop progress report.

About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings two decades 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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