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Planting weather window cracks -- USDA

Farmers didn't exactly light the world on fire in the last week, but some did make strides in planting corn, especially compared to the dismal progress of the past 3 weeks.

Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report shows 12% of the nation's corn crop has been planted. Though that's still 35% behind the normal pace for this week, it's a big boost after the last 3 weeks' cold, wet weather permitted a combined 5% planting completion.

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Double-digit strides in planting progress were made in some Plains states, as well as the southeast and eastern seaboard. Still, farmers in the "I-states" -- Iowa, Illinois and Indiana -- made good strides, from 1%-2% to 7%-8% in the last week.

Meanwhile, Monday's report shows a slight dip in winter wheat conditions. The amount of that crop -- which has battled drought and late-season freezing temperatures -- in very poor to poor condition moved higher by 4% in the last week, while the amount in good to excellent shape dropped by 1%.

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