Market News & Headlines >> Corn Planting Edges Forward, Wheat Crop Struggles

U.S. producers had planted 6% of their intended 2014 corn acres as of Sunday, slightly ahead of last year’s pace, but about a week behind the five-year average, according to Monday’s weekly crop progress update from USDA.

Meanwhile, USDA reported roughly steady U.S. winter wheat conditions with the trade looking for a further decline.

The five-year average pace for corn planting progress was 14%. Last year, producers had planted 4% of the crop as of April 21. The USDA estimate was near the low end of trade expectations, which averaged 9% in a range from 5%-13%, according to Reuters News Service survey.

In the top U.S. corn state of Iowa, only 2% of the crop had been planted, down from a five-year average of 11%, but ahead of last year when no measurable planting progress was reported. In Illinois, producers had planted 5% of their crop by Sunday, up from 1% a week earlier and a year earlier, but behind the five-year average of 22%.

U.S. winter wheat conditions were rated 34% good/excellent, unchanged from a week earlier, while the portion of the crop rated poor/very poor rose 1 point to 33%.

The crop in the top producing state of Kansas was rated 24% good/excellent and 32% poor/very poor, down from 26% good/excellent and 30% poor/very poor last week.  In Oklahoma, 61% of the crop was rated poor/very poor, with only 11% rated good.

Spring wheat planting progress advanced four percentage points to 9%, 2 points ahead of last year, but 8 points behind the five-year average.