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-Winter wheat conditions 62% good/excellent vs 56% expected (49-64% range of ideas), 60% last year
-HRW conditions slightly below year ago, but well above average
-SRW conditions best in four years
-Cotton planting 7% complete vs 5% last year, 5% average
-Oats 26% planted vs 29% average, sorghum 15% planted vs 13% average

With today’s USDA release of the first Crop Progress report of 2020, this begins our weekly updates of U.S. crop planting, condition and harvest updates throughout the growing season. The USDA’s first U.S. corn and spring wheat planting progress data of the year are expected to be released in next week’s update.

Overall U.S. winter wheat crop conditions are right in line with last year to start the season and are well above average and better than expected according to a wire service poll. State-level conditions are summarized in the map below. Our by-class condition analysis shows HRW slightly below last year, but well above average for early April. SRW conditions are the best in four years for early April. Overall white winter wheat conditions are very good, matching 2011 for the best early April reading in nearly 20 years. We calculate estimated by-class conditions each week using an acreage-weighted system applied to each state and then summed to arrive at a nationwide condition index. The condition index charts below, and those as the season progresses for other crops, as well, reflect our calculated condition index, which allows for an apples-to-apples comparison of conditions across past years at the same point of the growing season rather than using a simple good/excellent (or similar) such comparison, which can be misleading or not as accurate of a reflection of conditions historically.

Prior to next week’s nationwide corn planting update, some individual state updates were provided and are reflected in the map below. Considerable planting delays are being reported in Arkansas and Mississippi, but corn planting is ahead of average in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia.

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