Top 5 Things to Watch

Cold Slows Crop, Markets Look for Direction, Economic Reports Weigh In

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OMAHA (DTN) -- Here are the Top 5 things the DTN Newsroom is tracking for the week of April 23. Watch for coverage of these and other topics throughout the week on our subscription platforms as well as on

1. Crop (sort of) progress: We're a bit anxious to get the weekly USDA Crop Progress report Monday afternoon, as DTN reporters have been noting a lot of equipment moving in the central and lower Midwest the past two weeks. Some early corn is beginning to spike in Illinois and surrounding areas. That's the complete opposite of conditions in the upper Midwest, where last week's snow squalls and another cold shot this week are keeping shed doors closed.

2. Weather continues to throw curve balls: The frost and freeze advisories from the weekend could continue through the early part of this week, into areas with that spiking corn. The system moving across the Southern Plains could bring rain, along with some colder-than-wanted temperatures there.

3. Markets looking for direction: Mixed signals pick up in ag markets. The continued slow thaw, and lack of fieldwork, in the north is beginning to get trade attention, but any bullishness there may be shadowed by Brazilian corn and soy crops that appear larger each week. Look for more on both of those fronts.

4. Economic reports weigh in: This week also is filled with a number of broader economic touchstones that analysts will be touching on. Wednesday brings March U.S. durable goods orders and weekly U.S. energy inventories. Thursday morning will break with USDA weekly export sales, weekly U.S. jobless claims and first-quarter U.S. GDP reports. Friday we'll watch first-quarter employment cost index reports.

5. Irrigation companies pivot on parts availability: The heavy winds of the past few seasons have made many irrigation systems look like Tinker Toys after a 2-year-old's temper tantrum. That's put a stressor on parts for damaged systems as well as hindered farmers wanting to add new pivots. DTN Reporter Russ Quinn will investigate how pivot manufacturers are working to get the water flowing again.

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