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USDA Crop Progress Data Bullish Corn, Wheat

Jeff Caldwell 04/28/2014 @ 3:41pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Corn planting took a major step forward in the last week, but that progress is now seen stalling out in the coming days, as a wet, cool system settles in over the Midwest.

As of Sunday, 19% of the U.S. crop's in the ground, up 13% from the previous week. Double-digit progress gains were common; Illinois farmers, for example, went from 5% to 32% complete over the last week, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report. Missouri farmers went from 26% to 47% planted, while Iowa farmers went from 2% to 15%.

The overall corn planting progress number of 19% is still 9% below the normal pace for this week of the season despite a week of major progress in key areas. That discrepancy is expected to grow in the coming week, too.

"I expect corn planting progress to fall even further behind next week due to widespread rain, which is slowing field work throughout the entire Corn Belt," says Kluis Commodities and Agriculture.com Market Analyst Al Kluis. "|The nation’s corn crop is 19% planted. This is below trade estimates of 22 % and down from the five year average of 28%. Emergence was just 3% (vs. the five year average at 6%)."

The other key number in Monday's report -- winter wheat condition -- continued its recent lower trend, with the amount of that crop in good or excellent condition falling 1% to 33%. Though it's not the biggest drop, it's contrary to where the trade expected that number to move. That means both the corn and wheat data in Monday's report will likely be bullish overnight into Tuesday's trading session.

"The good to excellent rating for wheat was down 1%, with 33% of the nation’s wheat crop rated good to excellent; this is unchanged from last year. The drought continues in the  southern plains. In Texas and Oklahoma 65% of the winter wheat crop is rated poor to very poor," Kluis says. "Today's report is a little supportive for [corn] prices tonight. I expect corn to start out 1 to 2 cents higher tonight. The wheat condition number were down 1%, but the trade was looking for a slight improvement. This report will be positive for prices. I expect wheat prices to be 1 to 2 cents higher tonight."

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