Wheat Crop Condition: HRW and SRW Conditions Below Year-Ago

April 1, 2013 10:44 AM

Below we plug USDA's weekly crop condition ratings into our weighted (by production) Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index (CCI; 0 to 500 point scale). The CCI shows the HRW and SRW wheat crops are rated below year-ago levels. All HRW wheat states reflect crop deterioration from year-ago, while the SRW wheat crop is marginally better than year-ago in Missouri, Arkansas and North Carolina.

(Palmer Drought Index below text.)

Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index

HRW Wheat



Kansas (*36.35%)


Oklahoma (12.35%)



Texas (9.74%)



Colorado (9.19%)



Nebraska (6.52%)



HRW total



* denotes percent of total national HRW crop production.

Following are details from USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) state Crop and Weather Reports:

Kansas: For the week ending March 31, 2013, precipitation was limited to Southeastern areas of Kansas and a few isolated spots in Western portions of the State, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kansas Field Office. For last week, average temperatures were again below normal but warmed by the weekend allowing farmers to continue spring planting preparation. Additional precipitation is still needed throughout the state to replenish soil moisture and stock ponds. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 16% very short, 30% short, 50% adequate and 4% surplus. Kansas subsoil moisture supplies were rated 41% very short, 40% short, 18% adequate, and 1% surplus. Producers averaged 3.9 days suitable for fieldwork last week. The Kansas winter wheat crop was 13% jointed, behind 57% a year ago and 22% average. The condition of the crop was rated as 10% very poor, 19% poor, 40% fair, 29% good and 2% excellent.

Texas: Many areas experienced nighttime freezing temperatures last week, causing concern among producers about possible crop damage. Weather conditions across the state continued to be dry and windy, with most areas receiving less than one half inch of precipitation. Areas of the Blacklands and North East Texas experienced up to two inches of rainfall. Some areas saw severe weather with high winds and hail. Winter wheat and oat crop conditions were mostly fair to poor as soil moisture continued to be short across most of the state. Irrigated wheat producers continued to apply irrigation water due to dry conditions. Dry land wheat in the Blacklands and North East Texas mostly had adequate soil moisture as of the end of the week. The crop is rated 1% excellent, 15% good, 35% fair, 34% poor and 15% very poor.

Oklahoma: Severe thunderstorms brought damaging wind gusts and hail across Oklahoma this past weekend. Hail was reported across most areas of the state, but the highest rain totals were recorded in eastern Oklahoma. The state averaged 0.6 of an inch of precipitation and all but four Mesonet stations recorded some precipitation. The month of March ended with only half of the normal precipitation for the state. Cooler-than-normal temperatures averaged in the low 50s for the week, though the weekend warmed up significantly. Cooler weather has slowed crop and forage development, and small grain jointing continued to be behind normal. Topsoil moisture conditions continued to be rated mostly adequate to short. Subsoil moisture conditions were still rated mostly short to very short with 15% of the state rated as adequate. There were 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork. Condition ratings for all wheat, rye and oats continued to be rated mostly good to fair. Crop progress was behind normal for all small grains. Wheat jointing was halfway complete by Sunday, 15 points behind the five-year average. The crop is rated 2% excellent, 25% good, 40% fair, 23% poor and 10% very poor.

Nebraska: For the week ending of March 31, 2013, below-normal temperatures limited fieldwork activities with producers awaiting warmer conditions, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office.Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 37% very short, 43% short, 20% adequate and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 60% very short, 36% short, 4% adequate and 0% surplus. There were 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork. Wheat conditions rated 14% very poor, 35% poor, 41% fair, 10% good and 0% excellent.

Colorado: Rain and snow were seen in eastern parts of the state, bringing some relief to the dry conditions. Southern areas of the state experienced dry and breezy conditions, while producers continued fieldwork in preparation for irrigation season. Overall, mountain snowpack is 78% of average. Farmers were allowed 5.0 days in the field for spring operations. Eight percent of the winter wheat crop was reported being pastured this week, slightly above the five-year average of 7%. While Colorado continues to experience cold temperatures and below average precipitation, crop condition is rated mostly fair to very poor.


Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index

SRW Wheat



Missouri (*7.71%)



Illinois (9.31%)



Ohio (11.31%)



Arkansas (5.65%)



Indiana (5.27%)



North Carolina (8.82%)



Michigan (11.46%)



SRW total



* denotes percent of national SRW crop production.

Following are details from USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) state Crop and Weather Reports:

Illinois: The cold weather continued throughout the state last week with the average temperature being almost 7 degrees below normal. Statewide temperatures averaged 39.2 degrees. Total precipitation received across the state last week was .35 inches below normal and totaled only .57 inches. But soil moisture levels continued to improve last week as the heavy snow from the previous weekend slowly melted. As a result of the weather patterns the past month soil temperatures have not reached the required level for planting and soil moisture levels across the state are too wet for planting also. Very little fieldwork has been accomplished and has been limited to activities such as spreading fertilizer early in the day when the ground is still frozen. Weight limits have been posted on many roads limiting grain movement off the farm. Winter wheat is starting to come out of dormancy with reports of some yellowing in fields needing warmer weather. Topsoil moisture was rated at 1% very short, 5% short, 72% adequate and 22% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated at 6% very short, 23% short, 64% adequate and 7% surplus. Winter wheat conditions were rated at 1% very poor, 4% poor, 27% fair, 59% good and 9% excellent.

Note: No other major SRW states released state weather and crop summaries yesterday. We will add details from Michigan and Ohio as they become available.





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