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USDA Weekly Crop Progress Report
Anthony Greder 4/22 3:54 PM

This article was originally published at 3:03 p.m. CDT on Monday, April 22. It was last updated with additional information at 3:54 p.m. CDT on Monday, April 22.

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OMAHA (DTN) -- The winter wheat crop's good-to-excellent condition rating dropped 5 percentage points nationwide last week, likely due to dry conditions and possible frost damage in some areas, USDA NASS said in its weekly Crop Progress report on Monday. Meanwhile, corn and planting progress continued ahead of their five-year average paces last week.

A stretch of wetter weather forecast to begin later this week and continue into early May could flip the situation, though, with winter wheat benefiting from the moisture but row-crop planting facing delays.

CORN

-- Planting progress: Corn planting moved ahead 6 percentage points last week to reach 12% complete nationwide as of Sunday. That's now equal to last year's progress and 2 points ahead of the five-year average of 10%. "Texas corn is 68% planted and Missouri is 47% done, while major corn-producing states Iowa and Illinois are 13% and 11%, respectively," said DTN Senior Analyst Dana Mantini.

-- Crop development: 3% of corn was emerged as of Sunday, 1 point ahead of both last year and the five-year average of 2%.

SOYBEANS

-- Planting progress: 8% of soybeans were planted nationwide as of Sunday. That is equal to last year's pace and is 4 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 4%. "Louisiana's soybean crop is 42% planted compared to the average of just 25%, and Mississippi is 28% planted -- 5 percentage points above the average," Mantini noted. "Illinois is 11% planted, and Iowa is just 8% planted."

WINTER WHEAT

-- Crop development: 17% of winter wheat was headed as of Sunday. That is 1 point ahead of 16% at this time last year and 4 points ahead of the five-year average of 13%.

-- Crop condition: 50% of the crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition, down 5 points from 55% the previous week but still up from 26% a year ago. Sixteen percent of the crop was rated very poor to poor, down from 41% a year ago. "Major winter wheat producer Illinois' crop is rated 83% good to excellent, with Kansas' crop at 36% good to excellent and 26% rated poor to very poor," Mantini said.

SPRING WHEAT

-- Planting progress: 15% of spring wheat was planted as of Sunday, 11 points head of 4% last year and 5 points ahead of the five-year average of 10%. "Washington's spring wheat is 60% planted, and Idaho is 55% planted," Mantini said. "Minnesota is 18% planted, well ahead of its 3% average, while North Dakota is just 7% planted. South Dakota, at 40% planted, is well ahead of its 21% average."

-- Crop development: 2% of spring wheat was emerged, 1 point ahead of 2% last year but 1 point behind the five-year average of 3%.

THE WEEK AHEAD IN WEATHER

Farmers across the nation's midsection will have a few suitable days for fieldwork this week before an extended period of wet weather sets in, according to DTN Ag Meteorologist John Baranick.

"A very active pattern is about to set up across the middle of the U.S., and that's going to bring some very wet weather to much of the Plains and Midwest later this week and probably the first half or so of May," Baranick said. "I will never tell farmers what to do, but if they have some time over the first half of this week to get some work done, I would take the opportunity. It might be hard to find better conditions for a while.

"What is going to change is that a ridge will generally build over the East while we see system after system in the pipeline move into the West, develop, and then move from the Central or Southern Plains through the Midwest and Great Lakes. That overall background situation is what will drive multiple storm systems to move through ag country starting on Thursday and then come at a rapid pace for at least two weeks. These systems will come with widespread showers and thunderstorms, heavy rain, severe weather, and strong background winds, creating hazards for fieldwork and potentially for winter crops. At the same time, this rain is needed over most of the Plains and western Midwest, so it is a kind of double-edged sword.

"Not all areas will get heavy rain out of each storm. But with breaks likely being short-lived, this could push back progress a bit into May. That is not overall a bad thing for most areas, but it could have an impact.

"Winter wheat producers in the southwestern Plains finally have some really good chances at meaningful rain. It may not be perfect, but the setup does favor increased and above-normal precipitation over the next couple of weeks."

To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/…. Look for the U.S. map in the "Find Data and Reports by" section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state's "Crop Progress & Condition" report.

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Editor's Note: How are your crops looking? Are they better, worse or right on track with USDA NASS' observations this week? Send us your comments, and we'll include them in next week's Crop Progress report story. You can email comments to Anthony.greder@dtn.com or direct message him on Twitter @AGrederDTN. Please include the location of where you farm.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Planted 12 6 12 10
Corn Emerged 3 NA 2 2
Soybeans Planted 8 3 8 4
Cotton Planted 11 8 11 11
Winter Wheat Headed 17 11 16 13
Spring Wheat Planted 15 7 4 10
Spring Wheat Emerged 2 NA 1 3
Sorghum Planted 17 14 17 18
Oats Planted 51 43 40 42
Oats Emerged 35 30 27 28
Barley Planted 24 11 9 19
Barley Emerged 2 NA 1 3
Rice Planted 59 44 47 35
Rice Emerged 33 18 27 20

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National Crop Condition Summary
(VP=Very Poor; P=Poor; F=Fair; G=Good; E=Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Winter Wheat 5 11 34 43 7 4 9 32 47 8 18 23 33 23 3

Anthony Greder can be reached at anthony.greder@dtn.com

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