Winter wheat is the latest casualty of the lingering impact of the 2012 Drought. Of course, for many in key winter wheat growing areas, the drought has lasted longer than a single year. The latest USDA Crop Progress Report shows winter wheat conditions slipped from 22% poor and very poor to 24% poor and very poor - nearly a 10% decline in quality.
South Dakota is taking the biggest hit with 60% of the crop rated poor to very poor, Oklahoma comes in second at 44% poor to very poor, and Colorado and Nebraska winter wheat ratings are at 40% poor to very poor. On the other end, Michigan has 77% of its crop rated good to excellent; North Carolina and Ohio at 73% good to excellent; Illinoia at 72% good to excellent; and Indiana and Idaho at 70% good to excellent.
The winter wheat crop is running slightly behind the 5-year 86% emerged average. The winter wheat crop, which so far is also seeing little cover (though it's still pretty early in the season), is being subjected to continued warm, dry conditions. A promise of colder weather later this week, with little ground cover, is raising concerns as well.
Meanwhile, the cotton harvest is moving right along with 84% of the crop picked, about 7 percentage points above the five-year average.
For other key crops in the report, all are being harvested ahead of their five-year average schedules. Sorghum is 95% harvested and sunflowers are 97% harvested.
For now, all eyes are on that winter wheat crop and continued dry weather patterns in key production areas.
To keep up on key drought issues, visit www.DatelineDrought.com where you'll find daily videos (including a wrap of the day's market activity), key regional and state-focused news updates and more.