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Farmers Zoom To Near-Average Corn, Soybean Planting, Emergence Pace

The last week saw farmers take another big step toward wrapping up corn planting, which if repeated in the next seven days, will be in the books for 2014, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report.

As of Sunday, 88% of the crop is in the ground, right on par with the previous five-year average and up 15% over the last week. Just 4% off the normal pace, 60% of the crop has emerged. A whopping 26% of that total emerged in the last week, and emergence now sits 11% above where it was one year ago.

Farmers' advancements on the 2014 soybean crop were equally impressive in the last week, with planting progress nearing 60%, up from 33% a week ago. The 59% completion is just ahead of the previous average and almost 20% above where farmers were a year ago. Emergence remains slightly slower than overall planting progress; as of Sunday, 25% of the crop was planted, down 2% from the previous average, but a 16% improvement over last week and 13% above total emergence at this time a year ago, according to Monday's report.

"Today's report is a little negative for prices tonight. I expect corn to start out 1 to 2 cents lower tonight," says Kluis Commodities trader and market analyst Al Kluis. "Today's report is likely to take [soybean] prices a little lower tonight."

The winter wheat crop saw just slight movement in conditions, with the amount of the crop in fair condition dipping 1% and the amount in excellent shape rising 1%. While it's a positive sign - and some of the driest areas of the Plains have seen rain in the last few days - it may not matter much.

"The good to excellent rating for wheat was up 1% from last week, with 30% of the nation’s wheat crop rated good to excellent. This was expected, following weekend rain in the dry areas. For most areas, however, it is too little, too late. The grain trade’s attention will now begin to focus more on actual yield reports," Kluis says. "This report will be slightly negative for prices tonight. I expect wheat prices to be 1 to 2 cents lower tonight."

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