Market News & Headlines >> Winter Wheat Crop Ratings Mixed

Monthly crop updates issued by a number of winter wheat producing states were a mixed bag overall, but a further deterioration in condition ratings in the southern Plains has generated some new concerns about U.S. crop potential.

In the top winter wheat producing state of Kansas, crop conditions were rated 46% good/excellent and 13% poor/very as of Sunday, Feb. 1, down slightly from 49% good/excellent and 9% poor/very poor at the end of December. Conditions were still up from a year earlier when the crop was rated only 35% good/excellent and 20% poor/very poor.

In the traditional No. 2 producing state of Oklahoma, winter wheat conditions were rated 41% good/excellent and 13% poor/very poor as Sunday, down from 54% good/excellent and 12% poor/very poor as of Jan. 4, but up from 36% good/excellent and 24% poor/very poor a year earlier at the end of January 2014.

The biggest dip in condition ratings came in Colorado, where the percentage of the crop rated good/excellent was put at 38% and 14% poor/very poor as of Sunday, down from 62% good/excellent and just 1% poor at the end of December. The Colorado office of the National Agricultural Statistics Office did not issue any ratings for the end of January in 2014.

Condition ratings were a bit more encouraging in other states. In Texas, where weekly crop updates resumed in mid-January winter wheat conditions were rated 42% good/excellent unchanged from a week earlier and up from only 19% a year earlier.

The good/excellent rating for Nebraska winter wheat rose to 61% from 57% on January 4.  The good/excellent rating for the South Dakota crop held steady at 52% and the rating for the SRW wheat state of Illinois rebounded strongly to 49% from only 24% a month earlier.