April 14, 2014
U.S. corn planting is off to a slow start, as expected, with 3% in the ground as of Sunday as cool conditions kept planters in many areas on the sidelines, USDA said on Monday.
The 3% was slightly better than last-year's slow pace of 2% but behind the five-year average of 6%.
Monday's report was the first to measure this season's corn planting. Soybean planting will be added in later reports.
In Iowa, the largest corn and soybean producer, corn planting had not officially begun although the state report relayed scattered reports of planting in southern Iowa. None was planted there last year at this time, while the five-year average was 2%. Recent precipitation helped improve soil moisture.
In Illinois, 1% of the corn was planted, unchanged from a year earlier and down from the 10% average. Corn planting had not begun in Indiana, Minnesota, and Ohio. Missouri was 9% planted, versus 7% a year ago and the 16% average.
Winter wheat struggles
Winter wheat deteriorated slightly as dry conditions persisted with 34% rated good to excellent, 34% fair, 20% poor and 12% very poor. The week earlier numbers were 35% good to excellent, 36% fair, 19% poor and 10% very poor. A year earlier the crop was only slightly better.
In Kansas, the largest wheat producer, the crop was 1% excellent, 25% good, 44% fair, 20% poor and 10% very poor.
Warmer-than-normal weather dominated much of the week in Kansas, but cold and rain arrived on Sunday, the state report said. The rain was mostly in the east, but should improve wheat and pasture conditions.
More than half of the Texas and Oklahoma wheat was rated poor to very poor.
Cotton planting inches forward
Cotton planting increased in the past week to 8% as of Sunday, but was unchanged from a year ago, and down from the 9% average.
California, Arizona and Texas were planting leaders, with California at 85%, which is well ahead of the 23% average. Planting had yet to start in much of the southeastern United States.
Oats were 9% planted versus the 47% average, sorghum was 20% planted versus the 21% average; while rice was 25% planted versus the 31% average.
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