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Crop progress: Corn plantings begin to gather steam

Winter wheat quality ratings slide a point lower, as expected.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

April 15, 2024

2 Min Read
Treated corn seed
Getty Images/BanksPhotos

USDA’s latest crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through April 14, provided some updates to corn, soybean and spring wheat planting progress, along with a new look at winter wheat quality ratings and a fresh look at heading data.

Corn plantings moved from 3% completion a week ago up to 6% through Sunday. Analysts were expecting that number to reach 7%. Plantings are now slightly behind 2023’s pace of 7% but slightly ahead of the prior five-year average of 5%. Five of the top 18 production states have not made measurable progress so far.

For soybeans, USDA offered its first look at 2024 planting progress, which reached 3% last week. That was identical to 2023’s pace and mirrored analyst expectations. It was also faster than the prior five-year average of 1% so far.

Spring wheat plantings moved from 3% completion last week up to 7% through April 14. That was moderately better than 2024’s pace of 2% and slightly ahead of the prior five-year average of 6%.

Southern row crop planting progress is variable, including:

  • Cotton = 8% (up from 5% last week)

  • Rice = 44% (up from 23% last week)

  • Peanuts = 1% (up from 0% last week)

Winter wheat quality ratings eased a point lower last week, with 55% in good-to-excellent condition through April 14. Another 32% is rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 13% rated poor or very poor (up one point from last week).

Physiologically, 11% of the crop is now headed, up from 6% last week. That puts this year’s pace ahead of both 2024’s mark of 9% and the prior five-year average of 7%.

Click here for more data from the latest USDA crop progress report, including a state-by-state look at topsoil moisture, days suitable for fieldwork and more.

Read more about:

Crop Progress

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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