US feed crops planting starts

By Aerin Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

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© istock.com/pushlama

Related tags: U.s. state

Planting is slightly behind last year, but some feed crops are starting to go in the ground across the US.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its first crop progress report for 2016 on Tuesday. It offers a look at what parts of the country has suitable for conditions to allow for planting to begin.

“Crop progress and condition estimates are based on survey data collected each week from early April through the end of November,” ​said the UDSA. “The non-probability crop progress and condition surveys include input from approximately 4,000 respondents whose occupations provide them opportunities to make visual observations and frequently bring them in contact with farmers in their counties.”

Planting and crop details

Of the 11 states that account for 98% of the sorghum planted in the US, three have started planting, reported the USDA. Those states are Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, traditionally the states that see the earliest plantings.

However, Arkansas and Louisiana are behind in their traditional planting schedules both for last year and the longer-term average, the agency reported. Arkansas has about 1% of its crop planted, down from 4% at this point last year, while Louisiana has 14% of its crop planted, down from 19% at this point last year.

Texas has about 36% of its expected crop in the ground, up from 20% at this time last year, noted the USDA report.

Of the four states that accounted for 84% of the sugar beet acreage in 2015, only one, Idaho, has started planting. At 5% it is behind both last year’s planting rate at this time and the multi-year average.

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Nine states account for the majority of the oats planted in the US and all, except North Dakota, have started to plant their crop, the agency reported. Texas has finished its planting.

Texas and Pennsylvania have also seen the crop start to emerge, the agency said.

In the five states that account for the majority of the barley crop, three have started planting but Minnesota and North Dakota have not, reported the USDA. Plantings for those states are behind the multi-year average.

Of the winter wheat planted, the majority is of good quality, although California had more crop rated as excellent than good and Texas had more winter wheat rated as fair than any other category, said the USDA.

Topsoil moisture level is predominantly adequate for crop needs for the 48 states, it said. However, several states including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi and Vermont, have high levels of surplus water in the top soil.

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