USDA Crop Progress Report-- April 12, 2022


USDA has released its weekly Crop Progress and Condition Report and it shows there was little, if any, corn planting progress made as the number remained stuck at two percent of the nation’s crop in the ground - the same as last week and now one point behind the five-year average. Basically, all of the planted corn acres are in the Deep South. There is nothing showing up yet in the key I-80 Corridor states from Nebraska to Ohio.

Cotton planting inched forward with seven percent of the crop planted nationwide. That is up three points from a week ago, but right in line with where it should be on the five-year average. The only one of the top five producing state registering any significant cotton planting activity is Texas which is now 12 percent complete.

Grain sorghum planting barely moved the needle as it only improved by one percentage point - up to 14 percent done across the nation. That lags the average pace by two points. Just as in the cotton, the only major producing states making headway in grain sorghum (milo) planting is Texas with 48 percent of its crop now in the field.

Rice planting made decent progress as it improved five points from last week to stand at 17 percent. However, it is running behind its average by seven percentage points. The top producing state of Louisiana checks in with 64 percent of its crop in the ground, but that is still 10 points behind where it normally would be by now. Texas is close behind with 60 percent of its rice planted.

Spring wheat planting is garnering a lot of attention this year due to the short availability of the crop globally following last year’s very poor production in Canada and the northern US. This week, the spring wheat planting edged up to six percent complete which is three points higher than last week and one point above its five-year average. BUT, the weather looks to turn wet and cold for an extended time in the majority of the northern states where most of the spring wheat is grown. That does not bode well for planting in those areas for at least the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye on this one. Of the key production states, Washington is far and away the leader with 32 percent of its crop now in the ground.

The overall winter wheat condition rating came in at only 32 percent good to excellent which is an improvement of two points over a week ago. It’s important to note that 36 percent of the crop is rated poor to very poor. In the key Plains producing states, Oklahoma showed the most improvement from the previous week as it gained seven percentage points. Nebraska improved by five points to settle in at 32 percent. And, the top wheat-producing state of Kansas gained two points to register a 34 percent good to excellent rating. A continuing big story in the winter wheat crop this year is the fact that Texas is rated at only seven percent good to excellent while a staggering 79 percent (!) of its crop shows up in the poor to very poor categories as a direct result of the ongoing drought in the southern High Plains.

Continuing in its footsteps from last year, Montana has the highest amount of acres showing topsoil moisture deficit, coming in at 88 percent - although that is a big improvement of eight percentage points from the previous week, so at least it is heading in the right direction. However, Texas slid backwards and now has 83 percent of its acres in the topsoil moisture deficit category.

Montana also leads in the subsoil moisture deficit category with a whopping 91 percent of its acreage - another two-point decrease in moisture rating from last week. That just goes to show that recent moisture helped to improve the topsoil moisture levels, but it takes time for that moisture to soak down into the subsoil “root zone.” Texas also moved into second place in the subsoil moisture deficit list as it now stands at 84 percent short to very short - four points more than last week.

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