WASHINGTON — Recent winter and spring storms brought much needed moisture to the southern Plains resulting in an improvement in winter wheat condition ratings in key states.

The US Department of Agriculture updated its winter wheat condition ratings for Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado on March 22, and each state saw an improvement from a week earlier.

For the second consecutive week, the USDA raised its condition rating for the Kansas winter wheat crop. The USDA rated the crop 5% excellent, 40% good, 34% fair, 16% poor and 5% very poor as of March 21, which compared with 38% good to excellent a week earlier and 36% good to excellent as of March 7. A year earlier, the USDA rated the condition of the 2020 Kansas winter wheat crop at 48% good to excellent.

Recent storms replenished soil moisture in the state. The USDA said Kansas topsoil moisture supplies were 4% very short, 13% short, 68% adequate, and 15% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 9% very short, 20% short, 64% adequate, and 7% surplus.

The USDA rated the Oklahoma winter wheat crop’s condition as of March 21 at 4% excellent, 58% good, 28% fair, 7% poor and 3% very poor. This compared with 57% good to excellent a week earlier and 77% good to excellent a year ago.

Oklahoma winter wheat jointed by March 21 was 36%, up 11 points from a year earlier and up 5 points from normal.

The USDA rated the Colorado winter wheat crop at 4% excellent, 29% good, 38% fair, 13% poor and 16% very poor compared with 25% good to excellent a week earlier and compared with 49% good to excellent a year ago.

One percent of the Colorado crop was jointed.

The USDA rated the condition of the Texas crop at 7% excellent, 22% good, 42% fair, 17% poor and 12% very poor compared with 27% good to excellent a week earlier.

Twenty-three percent of the Texas crop was headed by March 21 compared with 22% week earlier, 27% a year ago and 8% as recent five-year average for date.