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Planting progress on par with five-year averages

By Justin Walker

Planting season is underway in many states across the U.S., and progress is on track with previous years.

Cotton, corn and rice growers have started planting their crops with no major issues as of yet, Brad Rippey, USDA meteorologist, said.

U.S. cotton farmers are ahead of the five-year average of five percent at this time. Currently, six percent of the intended acreage is planted. That number is down slightly from seven percent last year.

Texas joins Arizona and Oklahoma as the only states reporting planting progress for cotton. The Lone Star State sits at nine percent complete as of April 7.

U.S. corn growers are two percent complete with planting the crop, which matches both the five-year average and last year’s numbers.

The Deep South, including Texas, are significant contributors to the early planting numbers, Rippey said.

“Texas, for example, leads the nation—53 percent—in the intended corn average planted,” he said.

Texas corn growers are ahead of the five-year average of 51 percent at this time, but they trail last year’s planting numbers of 58 percent.

Rice has also seen overall progress across the country, with 19 percent of the crop planted as of April 7. Progress is slightly behind both the five-year average of 21 percent and last year’s numbers of 20 percent.

While past planting stages, Rippey also provided an update on winter wheat conditions, which have improved from last year.

There has been a bump in condition for the crop, Rippey said. As of April 7, 60 percent of winter wheat in the nation is rated at “good to excellent,” which is double that of last year’s numbers.

Only nine percent of the crop is rated “very poor to poor.” That is a dramatic drop from last year when 35 percent of the crop held that rating.

Texas is the only winter wheat state with significant drought issues, Rippey said.

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