Winter wheat condition declines in most states in January
BakingBusiness.com, February 7, 2012
by Jay Sjerven

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Winter wheat conditions at the end of January declined from a month earlier in most states but were well above year-ago ratings with the exceptions of South Dakota and Montana, according to end-of-January wheat progress and condition reports issued by several states last week.

Kansas Agricultural Statistics rated the condition of the Kansas winter wheat crop as of Jan. 30 at 49% good to excellent (compared with 53% at the end of December and 27% a year ago), 39% fair and 12% poor to very poor, (9% a month earlier and 37% a year ago). The rating decline from December was attributed to the lack of moisture during the month.

The Oklahoma field office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture rated the condition of Oklahoma winter wheat at 54% good to excellent (63% a month earlier, 21% a year ago), 37% fair and 9% poor to very poor (7% a month earlier, 40% a year ago). The Oklahoma U.S.D.A. field office said, “The Drought Monitor dated Jan. 24 indicated that 68% of the state was in a drought, as the panhandle and much of the southwestern parts of the state continued to experience ‘severe’ to ‘exceptional’ drought conditions.”

The Texas U.S.D.A. field office rated that state’s wheat at 26% good to excellent (25% a month earlier and 17% a year ago), 36% fair and 38% poor to very poor (38% a month earlier, 52% a year ago). The Texas crop was 96% emerged, which was average for the date. The Texas U.S.D.A. field office said, “Winter wheat was in need of additional moisture in the High Plains. In the Northern High Plains, early-planted wheat failed due to continued, unfavorable growing conditions.” But the office noted improvement in the crop in the Cross Timbers, Blacklands and Edwards Plateau regions of Texas.

Nebraska’s winter wheat crop was rated 65% good to excellent (74% at the end of December, 41% a year ago), 32% fair and 3% poor to very poor (1% a month earlier, 15% last year).

The South Dakota crop was rated 25% good to excellent (41% a month earlier, 67% a year ago), 45% fair and 30% poor to very poor (12% a month earlier, 1% last year). The South Dakota U.S.D.A. office said, “Snow cover for winter wheat is rated at 87% poor with the remaining 13% adequate, compared with last month rated at 95% poor and 5% adequate.”

Montana winter wheat was 26% good to excellent (30% a month earlier, 72% last year), 62% fair and 12% poor to very poor (9% a month earlier and 2% a year ago). The U.S.D.A.’s Montana field office said in January “warm but windy periods were offset by periods of heavy snow and subzero temperatures, often in the same week. Wind damage increased to 28% moderate to heavy, up from last month’s 5% and last year’s 1%.”

Two soft red winter wheat states updated their crop condition ratings. The Illinois U.S.D.A. field office rated that state’s winter wheat on Jan. 29 at 75% good to excellent (81% a month earlier and 45% a year ago), 22% fair and 3% poor (2% a month earlier, 19% poor to very poor a year ago). The North Carolina winter wheat crop was rated 84% good to excellent, 15% fair and 1% poor.”

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