Market News & Headlines >> U.S. Winter Wheat Crop Rating Slips

The U.S. winter wheat condition rating declined last week as the HRW wheat crop suffered under dry conditions in the Plains, although SRW wheat crop conditions generally improved somewhat.

USDA rated U.S. winter wheat conditions 42% good/excellent as of Sunday, down from 44% a week earlier with the portion of the crop rated poor/very poor rising to 19% from 16% previously. The ratings were still better than year earlier when the crop was rated just 34% good/excellent and 32% poor/very poor.

Crop development was slightly behind normal with 6% of the U.S. crop said to be headed, up from 5% last week, but behind the five-year average of 8%.

Crop conditions in the top winter wheat state of Kansas were rated 28% good/excellent and 28% poor/very poor, down from 33% good/excellent and 23% poor/very poor a week earlier. In the traditional No. 2 winter wheat state of Oklahoma, the good/excellent rating slid 7 points to 36%, while the poor/very poor rating rose 10 points to 26%.

The good/excellent rating for the Texas crop also edged lower to 52% from 54% a week earlier. In Nebraska, the portion of the crop rated good/excellent edged up to 36% from 33% previously, but in South Dakota, the crop was rated only 26% good, down from 29% previously.  The Montana crop, in contrast, is doing well at 62% good/excellent, up from 61% previously.

SRW wheat conditions improved in Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Arkansas and North Carolina, but declined slightly in Illinois and Ohio. The greatest improvement was in Michigan where the crop was rated 53% good/excellent, up from 43% a week earlier.

The lower crop ratings had limited impact on wheat futures with the driest areas of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle receiving badly needed rainfall Sunday into Monday and beneficial rains forecast for Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska later this week.