This week’s Crop Progress report from USDA shows corn planting and growth at virtually the same stage as that for the same date last year.

Planting is nearly finished, with farmers in the top 18 corn-growing states reporting 97 percent of their seed in the ground as of June 7. That figure matches the 2008 total for the same date, but is slightly behind the five-year average of 99 percent.

Those same states report 87 percent of the corn crop emerged, which again matches up with one year ago while falling short of the five-year average of 94 percent.

Crop conditions are similar to slightly better than last year, with national averages of 25 percent rated “fair,” 56 percent rated “good” and 13 percent “excellent.” Last year at this time, 31 percent of the crop rated “fair,” 50 percent “good and 10 percent “excellent.”

Soybeans, with 78 percent planted, are slightly ahead of one year ago, when farmers had 76 percent of their crop in the ground. Emergence, at 55 percent, is a little ahead of last year’s 52 percent and further behind the five-year average for the date of 70 percent emerged.

The sorghum crop is progressing well, with 74 percent planted compared with 61 percent one year ago and 68 percent for the five-year average.

Winter wheat harvest has begun in some southern states, and nationally, 84  percent of the crop is headed. Crop conditions for winter wheat average fair to good nationally, with clear exceptions in Texas and Oklahoma, where drought has damaged much of the crop. In those states, 68 percent and 64 percent of wheat acres respectively are rated “poor” or “very poor.”

State-by-state details for these and other crops are available in the June 8 Crop Progress report.