You are here

U.S. winter wheat at a turning point

The Monday, October 23, USDA Crop Progress report indicated current winter wheat conditions are identical to what they were one year ago. As of October 22, 57% of the crop was rated good to excellent and 10% was rated very poor to poor.

From this week forward in 2005, the overall condition of the crop deteriorated through the year, exascerbated later by drought conditions in wheat-growing states through spring and summer.

Will the same happen this year? Brad Rippey, USDA meteorologist, says conditions today are different than a year ago, therefore a repeat of last year's slide is, at this point, less likely.

"Last year, we had much drier conditions in key producing areas, and conditions deteriorated rapidly then from this point on," Rippey said Monday. "We have much better moisture conditions in many areas this year."

While soil moisture is generally better this year than in 2005, there are "dry spots to keep an eye on," Rippey added. In northwestern Oklahoma, he said 27% of the wheat, largely driven by drought, is rated very poor to poor.

"We also see some problems, despite some recent rains, in the northwestern states," Rippey said. "Washington is number two in terms of very poor to poor acreage. Fifteen percent of the acreage there [was] rated very poor to poor on Oct. 22."

The Monday, October 23, USDA Crop Progress report indicated current winter wheat conditions are identical to what they were one year ago. As of October 22, 57% of the crop was rated good to excellent and 10% was rated very poor to poor.

Read more about