Young wheat OlyaSolodenko/ThinkstockPhotos

USDA: Corn 3% planted, winter wheat improves

More rain helps Plains wheat.

Corn planting is under way in the South and Southeast plus a few acres in Illinois, Kansas and Missouri for a nationwide total of 3% done, USDA said on Monday. That is on par with the five-year average, but down slightly from last year.

Corn planting in Texas was the farthest along at 59% done versus 45% a year ago and the 50% average.

Winter wheat in the Plains improved to 53% good to excellent from 51% a week ago as more rain fell during the past week. A year ago the crop was rated 56% good/excellent at this time.

“Improving winter wheat conditions added .22 to .64 bpa to our average yield projections, depending on the model used,” said Bryce Knorr, Farm Futures senior grain analyst. 

A Farm Futures model using the USDA nationwide rating puts the average yield at 46.3 bpa, while another method using state-by-state ratings is at 48.7 bpa, he said.

“States to the north showed little or no change – not surprising because winter lingers on there. Most of the hard red winter wheat states showed solid improvement in yield potential, with a good gains also noted in Illinois, which could be the top producing soft red winter wheat state this year,” Knorr said.

Illinois winter wheat improved to 72% good/excellent from 65% a week ago.

The Kansas winter wheat improved to 48% good /excellent from last week‘s 43%.

“Rain continued to fall across the majority of counties, with many averaging one inch or more,” the Kansas report said.

Oklahoma’s wheat went to 45% good/excellent from 41% and 8% was headed versus the 10% average. Texas wheat went to 41% good/excellent from 39%, with 40% headed versus the 20% average.

“Although spring storms brought some rainfall to the southeastern and east central districts, drought conditions continued to advance across the state last week,” Oklahoma said. The worst of the drought areas there were in the east and northwest areas of the state.

Spring wheat planting is 5% done, compared with 12% a year ago and the 11% average. Spring wheat in North Dakota was 2% planted versus 4% a year and the 5% average.

“The warm temperatures melted much of the remaining snow across North Dakota and warmed soils at the same time. Some northern areas, where large amounts of snow were received this winter, were experiencing some flooding,” North Dakota said.

In Kansas, topsoil moisture increased to 80% adequate to surplus from 74% a week ago, while Oklahoma was at 70% from 63% and Texas at 67% versus last week’s 68%.

In Iowa, topsoil moisture was 86% adequate to surplus ahead of spring planting, Illinois was at 86%, Indiana 85% and Nebraska 74%.

Sorghum was 18% planted nationwide versus 13% a year ago and the average. Texas was the farthest along at 53%, versus 39% a year ago and the 41% average.

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