Better Initial Rating for U.S. Spring Wheat Crop; Winter Wheat Harvest Underway

Despite some planting struggles, the 2020 U.S. spring wheat crop is off to a better start than a year ago.

According to Monday’s USDA crop progress report, 80% of the American spring wheat crop was in good to excellent condition as of Sunday, 6 points better than a year ago. The stronger rating comes despite the fact planting has lagged the average pace for much of this spring, with 9% of the national crop still to be planted as of Sunday, compared to 4% on average.

At 67%, spring wheat emergence this year is also trailing the average of 80%.

In the main production state of North Dakota, the spring wheat crop was rated 82% good to excellent as of Sunday, 6 points below a year earlier, while Minnesota was 5 points below at 81% and Montana 3 points below at 85%. However, at 74% good to excellent, the condition of the South Dakota crop was up sharply from last year’s initial rating of 53%.

In terms of planting, both Minnesota and Montana reached 97% complete as of Sunday, while North Dakota gained 15 points on the week to reach 85% done as of Sunday – still 10 points behind average. Planting in South Dakota has essentially now wrapped up.

Amid delayed planting, North Dakota spring wheat emergence was just 52% as of Sunday, behind 78% on average. Minnesota and Montana emergence was running at 71% and 83% as of Sunday, versus 88% and 74% on average, and South Dakota emergence was 1 point ahead of average at 91%.

Meanwhile, this year’s American winter wheat harvest is now underway, with 3% of the national crop in the bin as of Sunday, 2 points ahead of last year and 1 point ahead of average. Most of the harvest progress so far has been made in Texas, where almost one-third (32%) of the crop was off as of Sunday, well ahead of the average of 21%.

An estimated 77% of the U.S. winter wheat crop had reached the heading stage as of Sunday, up from 68% a week earlier but behind 81% on average. In Michigan, 20% of the crop had headed as of Sunday, 10 points behind average, while Ohio was 4 points behind at 73% headed.

At 51% good to excellent, the condition of the U.S. winter wheat crop was down 3 points from a week earlier and 13 points below the previous year. The condition of the Kansas crop ticked up 2 points on the week to 42% good to excellent, but Oklahoma was down 4 points to 56%. The Michigan crop was down 5 points to 55% and Ohio gained 4 points to 73%.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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