Wheat Crop Condition: HRW Condition Declines, SRW Improves Marginally

April 29, 2013 10:28 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 Pro Farmer CCI for the HRW wheat crop declined by 8.4 points from lsat week to stand 102.65 points below last year at this time. Meanwhile, the CCI for the SRW wheat crop improved by 0.45 points to stand nearly steady with year-ago.

Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index

HRW Wheat




Kansas *(36.35%)


Oklahoma (12.35%)




Texas (9.74%)




Colorado (9.19%)




Nebraska (6.52%)




HRW total




(Palmer Drought Index below text.)

* 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 April 28, 2013, cold weather continued in Kansas, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kansas Field Office. Average temperatures were well below normal last week although the weekend saw a return of warmer conditions. Low temperatures again dropped below freezing in many areas. Precipitation in the form of rain and even some snow occurred mostly in the East Central and Southeast Districts but was not widespread enough to have a significant impact on the State’s topsoil moisture ratings. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 16 percent very short, 20 percent short, 54 percent adequate, and 10 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 30 percent very short, 33 percent short, 35 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. Producers averaged 2.7 days suitable for fieldwork last week. The winter wheat crop was 53 percent jointed, behind 100 percent a year ago and 78 percent average. The wheat crop was 1 percent headed, well behind 70 percent a year ago, and 19 percent average. The condition of the crop was rated as 18 percent very poor, 21 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 25 percent good, and 2 percent excellent.

Texas: Southern Texas received much sought-after rainfall last week. Areas from South Texas and the Lower Valley through the Upper Coast and South Central Texas recorded from one half to three inches of precipitation. Cooler-than-normal conditions persisted across the state, with areas from the Northern High Plains down to the Upper Coast experiencing nighttime freezing temperatures. Conditions in the Panhandle remained dry and windy. Small Grains: Freezing temperatures late in the week compounded earlier damage. Producers in areas of the Plains, the Cross-Timbers, and the Blacklands prepared to bale freeze damaged wheat. Wheat in East Texas headed out and was in good condition. Some producers in South Texas cut wheat and oats that were damaged by previous hail storms for hay.

Oklahoma: Temperatures were cooler than normal for most of the week, and another widespread freeze occurred overnight into Wednesday. Temperature records were broken in multiple locations for April 24th. According to Oklahoma Mesonet, the 15 degree low at Boise City broke the record for the lowest temperature ever recorded this late in spring. Small grain development continued to be significantly behind normal. The Panhandle and southwestern Oklahoma continue to be the hardest hit areas, and once again missed out on significant rain from the past week’s storms. Topsoil moisture conditions continued to be rated mostly adequate. Subsoil moisture conditions improved slightly, and one third was rated as adequate. There were 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork. Heading of wheat, rye and oats made significant progress over the past week, but was well behind the five-year average. Condition ratings for wheat declined slightly, and were rated mostly fair to poor. Wheat jointing was 92 percent complete by Sunday. Twenty-one percent of the crop was headed by the end of the week, 44 points behind normal.

Nebraska: For the week ending April 28, 2013, rain early in the week combined with below normal temperatures to limit fieldwork until the weekend when conditions warmed and soils began to dry, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office. Moisture accumulations near 1 inch were common across the southeastern third of the State. However, precipitation was again limited in many western counties where soil moisture profiles are depleted. For the week, temperatures averaged 3 to 6 degrees below normal. Pastures continued to show little growth, forcing producers to draw on short forage supplies. Fieldwork was limited with only 3.2 days considered suitable for fieldwork. Statewide, topsoil moisture supplies rated 13 percent very short, 31 short, 55 adequate, and 1 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 47 percent very short, 42 short, 11 adequate, and 0 surplus. Wheat conditions rated 14 percent very poor, 30 poor, 44 fair, 12 good, and 0 excellent. Wheat jointed was 6 percent, well behind last year’s 66 and 28 average.

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: Wet fields are the topic for most farmers across the state. The heavy rains from the week before combined with the cooler than normal temperatures, have many fields still too wet for farmers to get in the fields. There were many reports across the state of flooding along rivers and streams along with standing water in many fields. Statewide temperatures averaged 49.8 degrees, 6.2 degrees below normal, while the precipitation was at 1.07 inches, 0.22 inches above normal. These cooler temperatures along with the wet fields resulted in 0.3 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture was rated as 45 percent adequate, and 55 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated as 3 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 25 percent surplus. The main farm activities for the week included planter and equipment preparation along with tending livestock. Winter wheat conditions were rated as 2 percent poor, 21 percent fair, 61 percent good, and 16 percent excellent.

Ohio: There were two days suitable for field work in Ohio during the week ending April 28 according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Continued rain and below normal temperatures kept field work to a minimum in many areas. For the most part, the April showers have greatly replenished soil moisture, and so far, there have been limited reports of flooding in wheat and hay fields. Many producers have continued planting oats, but are waiting for dry soil and warmer temperatures to begin planting corn. Winter wheat looks good, although additional rain could adversely affect growth.

Michigan: Two days were suitable for field work in Michigan during the week ending April 28 according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Weather at the beginning of the week remained cold. This cold weather was accompanied by rain which kept farmers out of fields. Accumulating snows fell in the northern lower and upper peninsulas Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Warm temperatures arrived Friday and high temperatures Saturday were in the 60’s or 70’s across the State. Rain fell Sunday in the southern part of the State which, barring any additional rainfall, will keep planters out of fields for at least 4 or 5 more days.




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