Recent rains may have helped wash away the drought from many areas in the Corn Belt, but April showers continue to stall corn planting across much of the heartland. In the latest update to its weekly Crop Progress report, the USDA said that 4 percent of the nation’s corn has been planted, 2 percentage points above last week’s report.

Progress is no doubt slower than last year. At this time in 2012, producers already had been in their fields for weeks and 26 percent of corn had been planted.

The early spring of 2012 is now a distant memory as many states are still facing freezing temperatures and rainy conditions. Eight states reported no corn planting progress for the second week in the row, including Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Read more from the Crop Progress report here.

However, not all states are struggling against Mother Nature. Five states have reported substantial progress in planting corn – North Carolina (64 percent), Texas (59 percent), Tennessee (31 percent), Kentucky (15 percent) and Missouri (13 percent).

Despite initial setbacks, May is promising to bring more spring-like weather. 

John Dee, agricultural meteorologist for Global Weather Monitoring, is forecasting more rain and snow through the end of this week but drier conditions next week, according to a Reuters report.

"It will be warmer, with not as much precipitation next week, so there will be some improvement for fieldwork," Dee said.

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