Roughly 37 percent of the U.S. spring-wheat crop was seeded and 17 percent of the corn crop was planted as of April 15, both well ahead from the previous five-year averages of nine and five percent, respectively, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.

Five percent of the spring-wheat crop was planted this time in 2011. The winter-wheat crop is in better condition than the same time in 2011, as above-normal rains in parts of the southern Great Plains and the Midwest during the past month improved yield potential, said Mike Tannura, president of T-Storm Weather LLC. An estimated 64 percent of the crop is in good or excellent condition, up from 61 percent during the second week of April, according to the USDA. During the same week in 2011, 36 percent had the top ratings. The U.S. winter-wheat crop was valued at $10.185 billion in 2011, or about 71 percent of the total wheat harvest.


The most-active corn contract has dropped 5.7 percent in April on speculation that rapid U.S. planting will boost yields. Farmers are expected to increase corn sowing by 4.3 percent to 95.864 million acres, the most since 1937, said the USDA on March 30.