Soft Red Winter wheat condition ratings were mixed in Michigan and Ohio in March, although both remained up from a year earlier.
A monthly crop progress report on Tuesday pegged the Michigan winter wheat crop at 61% good to excellent as of March 26, down 6 points from the end of February. On the other hand, the condition of the Ohio crop improved 4 points from the end of February to 58% good to excellent. Regardless of the month-to-month decline, the condition of the Michigan crop was well up from just 43% good to excellent last year, while the Ohio crop was 3 points better.
March weather was close to historical averages in Michigan, with several freezes and thaws, the report said. Recent precipitation caused much of the Lower Peninsula to lose most of the snow cover and brought moisture back to fields and pastures. Winter wheat has not yet broken dormancy in many areas of the state, the report added.
In Ohio, the past month marked a shift towards higher temperatures punctuated by cold snaps, with a transition in precipitation patterns from snowfall to mostly rain showers. Fields were soaked in southwestern portions of the state, the report said, with some counties receiving a monthly rainfall total in excess of 6 inches during March. Farmers with winter wheat fields described top dressing and supplementary nutrient application during the past month, it said.
The condition of winter wheat crops in Indiana and Missouri also declined slightly from last month but were still up from a year earlier. At 64% good to excellent, the condition of the Indiana crop was down 2 points from the end of February but up 4 points from last year. The Missouri crop was rated 70% good to excellent as of March 26, down a single point from last month but up markedly from just 53% the previous year.
Meanwhile, weekly ratings showed the condition of the crop in the leading Hard Red Winter wheat production state of Kansas at 19% good to excellent as of Sunday, unchanged from the previous week but down from 32% last year. More than half (52%) of the Kansas crop was reported in poor to very condition, versus 50% a week earlier and 32% last year.
At 34% good to excellent as of Sunday, the condition of the Oklahoma crop was up 5 points on the week, while that portion of the crop in poor to very poor condition fell to 32% from 43%. Last year, just 18% of the Oklahoma winter wheat crop was rated good to excellent, and 53% poor to very poor.