Monday’s weekly USDA-NASS Crop Progress report showed farmers improved slightly on the previous week’s early planting pace in the last seven days, with now four percent of the corn crop planted as of April 11, one percent ahead of last year’s pace and the previous five-year average for this week. Illinois farmers made the greatest strides in the last week, with 5% of that state’s corn crop in the ground compared to the previous five-year average of 1%. Farmers in the other I-states were slightly ahead of normal, as they were in Texas. Meanwhile, winter wheat conditions were steady week-over-week, with heading underway but just behind the normal pace. Based on largely dry conditions in the northern Plains, spring wheat planting is starting out well ahead of the previous average pace, too, while sorghum, rice and cotton planting were all close to the normal pace in Monday’s report. See more from the latest report.