Market News & Headlines >> Cold Damage to Midwest Wheat Minimal
The Midwest SRW wheat crop likely came through this week’s cold wave without any notable damage as snows that fell across much of the region in advance of the coldest conditions protected fields.
Some spotty damage may have occurred in parts of the southern third of the region that lacked snow cover when temperatures fell below zero in many locations on Thursday morning. The wheat market will be keeping an eye out for future threats for the Midwest and the Plains due to the deterioration in winter wheat conditions indicated in monthly crop updates issued by a number of key producing states this past Monday afternoon.
Hard red winter wheat conditions in the top U.S. winter wheat state of Kansas were rated 49% good/excellent at the end of December, down from the previous rating of 61% good/excellent as of Nov. 24 and down from 58% a year earlier, according to the state office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Some 9% of the Kansas crop was rated poor/very poor at the end of December versus only 4% previously. NASS offered no explanation for the decline in conditions.
The crop rating declined even more sharply in the soft red winter wheat state of Illinois, where only 24% of the crop was rated good/excellent at the end of December, down from 56% in the previous rating. However, only 8% of the state’s crop was rated poor/very poor in Monday’s report, down from 11% in November. Most of the crop was rated fair.
The condition of the Nebraska crop was rated 57% good/excellent at the end of December, down only slightly from the previous rating of 61%, while the South Dakota rating slid to 58% from 69% previously.
The crop did not deteriorate everywhere. In the traditional No. 2 producing state of Oklahoma, crop conditions were rated 54% good/excellent as of Jan. 4, unchanged from Nov. 24.