Market News & Headlines >> Winter Wheat In Good Shape Heading into Spring

Monthly crop updates released Monday afternoon by a number of top U.S. winter wheat growing states, were mixed, but overall indicated no serious problems into the key spring growing season. 

In the top winter wheat state of Kansas, the portion of the HRW wheat crop rated good/excellent rose by 4 percentage points during February to 59%, while only 6% of the crop was rated poor/very poor at the end of February. 

The Kansas office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service noted that temperatures averaged 4-6 degrees F. above normal during February, causing the crop to come out of dormancy early. The NASS office indicated rain was needed to support crop growth and development. Kansas topsoil moisture conditions were rated 64% adequate/surplus, with subsoil moisture rated 70% adequate/surplus. The early crop development does increase the risk of a damaging freeze, but weather forecasts for most of the Plains look mild.

In the traditional No. 2 winter wheat state of Oklahoma, the portion of the crop rated good/excellent slipped 6 points to 68% during February, with the state experiencing warm, dry weather. However, that’s a big improvement from the year-earlier rating of only 42% good/excellent. Meanwhile, only 1% of the Oklahoma crop was rated poor at the end of February. The state’s topsoil moisture was rated 41% short/very short with subsoil moisture only 21% short/very short. 

Nebraska’s crop rating climbed to 59% good/excellent at the end February, from 56% a month earlier, with only 3% rated poor. Nebraska topsoil moisture was rated 86% adequate to surplus, with subsoil moisture 83% adequate to surplus. 

Colorado’s crop slipped a bit to 45% good/excellent from 48% at the end of January, with 12% of the crop rated poor. In South Dakota, the condition of the winter wheat crop was rated 69% good/excellent up from 67% a month earlier, with and only 1% rated poor. 

SRW wheat conditions appeared to be decent as well, despite flooding earlier this winter in the southern Midwest. The portion of the Illinois crop rated good/excellent fell by 7 points to 58% during February, but only 6% of the state’s crop was rated poor/very poor at the end of the month. The Kentucky SRW wheat crop was rated 82% good/excellent and only 6% poor/very poor at the end of February.