Winter wheat condition slips slightly

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — The aggregated 18-state winter wheat condition rating on Nov. 4 declined slightly from low initial numbers a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicated in its latest Crop Progress report.

Winter wheat was rated 39% good to excellent as of Nov. 4, down slightly from 40% a week earlier and compared with 49% on the same date last year, the U.S.D.A. said. But the poor to very poor rating increased to 19% from 15% on Oct. 28, and compared with 15% last year. The crop was rated 42% fair in the latest week, down from 45% a week earlier but above 36% a year earlier.

Hard red winter wheat showed mixed ratings compared with the prior week’s very low numbers in some states. The U.S.D.A. rated winter wheat in South Dakota 4% good to excellent as of Nov. 4, (5% week earlier) and 52% poor to very poor (61% week earlier), Nebraska 13% good to excellent (9%) and 49% poor to very poor (49%), Kansas 37% good to excellent (37%) and 13% poor to very poor (13%), Oklahoma 21% good to excellent (27%) and 30% poor to very poor (12%), Texas 34% good to excellent (38%) and 24% poor to very poor (16%), Colorado 27% good to excellent (30%) and 28% poor to very poor (24%) and Montana 30% good to excellent (31%) and 14% poor to very poor (17%).

The soft wheat crop was in considerably better shape than the hard winter crop. Rated good to excellent on Nov. 4 was 78% of the wheat in Illinois (75% on Oct. 28), 72% in Indiana (69%), 69% in Ohio (74%), 54% in Missouri (54%), 55% in Arkansas (59%), 77% in North Carolina (65%) and 71% in Michigan (73%), the U.S.D.A. said.

Winter wheat in the 18 states was 92% planted as of Nov. 4, equal to progress a year ago and just ahead of 90% as the 2007-11 average for the date. Emergence reached 73% as of Nov. 4, also even with last year but just behind 74% as the five-year average for the date.

The corn crop in the 18 major corn growing states was 95% harvested as of Nov. 4, well ahead of 85% at the same time last year and 71% as the five-year average for the date.

The soybean harvest in the 18 major soybean growing states was 93% completed, just ahead of 91% a year ago and compared with 86% as the five-year average, the U.S.D.A. said.

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