The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the condition of the nation’s winter wheat crop slipped modestly, while spring wheat planting was making progress.
As of May 19, winter wheat in the 18 major states was rated 31 percent good to excellent, down a percent from the previous week, but well below last year’s 58 percent. This year 41 percent of the crop was rated poor to very poor, which compares to 14 percent last year. Just 31 percent of the crop was rated good to excellent. This year’s poorer ratings are due to lingering drought conditions and unseasonable cold spring temperatures across much of the wheat growing region.
Winter wheat heading in the 18 leading states as of May 19 was 43 percent, compared to 80 percent at the same time last year, and 62 percent for the five-year average.
Spring wheat planting was estimated at 67 percent complete in the six major states, well behind the 98 percent planted at this time last year. The five-year average is 76 percent complete.
Regarding the hard red winter wheat crop, Kansas saw ratings of 42 percent poor to very poor, and just 28 percent good to excellent. Oklahoma was 52 percent poor to very poor compared to 19 percent good to excellent. In Texas, where the drought has been especially harsh, 76 percent of the crop is rated poor to very poor. Just 6 percent of the crop was rated good in Texas, with zero percent rated excellent.
For the 18 states: 21 percent of the wheat crop was rated very poor; 20 percent rated poor; 28 percent rated fair; 27 percent rated good; and 4 percent rated excellent.