Corn planting advances; winter wheat ratings edge lower

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — Nineteen per cent of the corn crop was planted in the 18 major states as of April 27, up from 6% a week earlier and 5% a year ago but behind 28% as the 2009-13 average for the date, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its April 28 Crop Progress report. Winter wheat condition ratings slipped slightly but remained about even with the five-year average for the date.

Corn planting in top-producing Iowa was 15% completed, well behind 33% as the five-year average but ahead of only 2% a year ago. Illinois planting was near average at 32% (33% average), and far ahead of 1% last year.

Three per cent of the corn crop had emerged by April 27, up from 2% last year but behind 6% as the five-year average, the U.S.D.A. said.

Winter wheat as of April 27 was rated 33% good to excellent, 33% fair and 34% poor to very poor, compared with 34%, 33% and 33%, respectively, a week earlier, and 33%, 32% and 35%, respectively, at the same time last year, the U.S.D.A. said.

Ratings declined in most hard red winter states and remained abysmal in key Southwest states with Texas at 13% good to excellent and 65% poor to very poor, Oklahoma at 9% good to excellent (11% a week earlier) and 65% poor to very poor (61%), Kansas at 21% good to excellent (24%) and 37% poor to very poor (32%) and Colorado at 36% good to excellent (unchanged) and 33% poor to very poor (32%).

Condition ratings showed mixed changes in the soft winter wheat states with good to excellent ratings improving to 63% in Arkansas, 62% in Illinois and Indiana, 70% in North Carolina and 49% in Ohio but declining to 42% in Michigan (50% a week earlier) and 43% in Missouri.

Wheat headed in the 18 major states reached 18% as of April 27, ahead of 13% a year ago but behind 26% as the five-year average, the U.S.D.A. said. Four per cent of the hard winter crop in Kansas was headed (17% average for the date).

Spring wheat planting in the six major states advanced to 18% compared with 11% a year earlier and 30% as the 2009-13 average for the date. Planted in top-producing North Dakota was 3% of the crop (19% average for the date), with Minnesota at 2% (39%), South Dakota at 42% (46%), Montana at 19% (29%), Idaho at 93% (62%) and Washington at 77% (69%).

The spring wheat crop was 5% emerged as of April 27 compared with 9% as the average, with 55% in Idaho, 37% Washington and 6% in South Dakota but none in North Dakota, Minnesota or Montana.

In its first aggregate 18-state soybean planting report, the U.S.D.A. said 3% of the crop was in the ground, compared with none a year ago and 4% as the five-year average for the date. Planting had not yet begun in Iowa or Minnesota while Illinois was at 2% and Nebraska at 6%.
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