Spring wheat plantings mostly lag 2012, five-year averages

by Laura Lloyd
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MINNEAPOLIS — Spring wheat plantings in the Upper Midwest were lagging both the previous year’s pace and five-year averages, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its weekly Crop Progress report issued April 15.

“Spring wheat producers had sown 6% of this year’s crop by April 14, 27 percentage points behind last year and seven percentage points behind the five-year average,” the U.S.D.A. said in its most recent Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin. “Similar to other row crops and small grains, poor weather conditions delayed the start of seeding in portions of the northern Great Plains and Great Lakes region.”

The Crop Progress report said planting in two spring wheat-growing states in the West — Idaho and Washington — was ahead of both last year and the five-year average. Idaho spring wheat was reported to be 48% planted as of April 14, up from 44% a year earlier and 29% as the five-year average. Washington spring wheat was 50% planted in the latest week, up from 29% planted by the same date a year ago and 43% as the five-year average.

Planting in the other four principal spring wheat-growing states was behind both last year’s pace and the five-year average. Minnesota had not planted any spring wheat by April 14 compared with 52% planted on the same date a year earlier and down from 15% as a five-year average. Only 6% of the Montana crop was planted as of April 14, down from 21% a year ago and from 10% as the five-year average.

None of the North Dakota spring wheat crop was planted as of April 14 compared with 26% a year earlier and 7% as the five-year average. South Dakota reported 6% of the new crop was planted, dramatically lower than the 79% planted a year ago on the same date and below 26% as the five-year average progress.
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