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USDA: Winter wheat harvest moving slowly

Winter wheat harvest has begun in earnest in the southern Plains, but remains off the typical pace and well behind last year at this time, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report.

Corn conditions changed little over the past week, as 77% of the nation's crop is rated in good to excellent shape, compared to 78% a week ago. In the Corn Belt, good-to-excellent corn conditions ranged between 61% in Indiana to 91% in South Dakota. Seventy percent of the soybean crop was rated good to excellent as of Sunday, a one-percent dip from the previous week. Both corn and soybean conditions remain slightly ahead of the shape they were in last year at this time.

As soybean harvest nears completion -- 94% finished as of Sunday compared to the 89% previous five-year average -- both soybean and corn emergence is surging ahead of the average pace at 84% and 99% compared to the previous five-year averages of 75% and 95% respectively.

Cotton plantings progressed to one percentage point behind the average pace, from 84% last week to 92% as of Sunday. Likewise, sorghum plantings jumped in the past seven days, reaching the average progress pace of 73%, just under last year's progress at this point in the year. Fourteen percent of the sorghum crop, according to Monday's report, had headed, just ahead of the average pace. Oat and barley heading is right at the average pace, while sunflower and peanut plantings both lag slightly.

Winter wheat harvest has begun in earnest in the southern Plains, but remains off the typical pace and well behind last year at this time, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report.

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