Wheat Crop Condition: HRW Condition Declines, SRW Steady

April 22, 2013 10:29 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 HRW declined by 7.82 points from last week and is now nearly 100 points lower than year-ago. Meanwhile, the CCI for SRW wheat was down just 0.17 point from last week to 372.89 and is about 4 points lower than last year at this time.

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 21, 2013, the cold spell continued across Kansas, with average temperatures at least ten degrees below normal for most of the State, and lows dropping below freezing in many areas, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kansas Field Office. Warmer temperatures are needed for farmers to assess the freeze damage to their wheat crop. Moisture accumulations between one and two inches were common, with isolated areas in far-northeast Kansas reporting more than three inches of much-needed precipitation. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 15 percent very short, 23 percent short, 53 percent adequate, and 9 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 33 percent very short, 35 percent short, 31 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Producers averaged 3.0 days suitable for fieldwork last week. The winter wheat crop was 43 percent jointed, behind 96 percent a year ago and 63 percent average. The condition of the crop was rated as 16 percent very poor, 21 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 27 percent good, and 3 percent excellent. Farmers in the western third of State are still evaluating the impact of freezing temperatures on their crop, with more than half of the State’s acreage reported as having no damage.

Texas: Rainfall continued toconcentrate mostly in the northeastern parts of the state, as some areas in the Blacklands and East Texas received an inch or more of rain last week. Portions of the Cross Timbers, the Edwards Plateau, South Central Texas, and the Upper Coast recorded closer to a half inch of precipitation, while the rest of the state saw little to no moisture. The Plains
experienced another freeze event along with high winds, which continued to dry out soil moisture.
 Freezing temperatures in the Plains negatively impacted wheat in the boot and early heading stages. Producers were still assessing damage from previous freeze events. Wheat and oats in the Blacklands and North East Texas that survived earlier freezes were heading out and in good condition. Irrigated wheat across the rest of the state continued to show promise, while dry land wheat struggled due to a lack of moisture.

Oklahoma: Severe weather cut a path from southwestern to northeastern Oklahoma Wednesday night and early Thursday. Hail was observed all along the storm’s path and at least 10 tornadoes were reported, including an EF-2 in Delaware County. Heavy rains fell, resulting in localized flooding, notably at Medicine Park where 6.63 inches of rain were recorded. Cooler than normal temperatures continued, delaying forage growth and slowing field work. The damage to small grains from multiple freeze events was still being assessed. Precipitation for the state averaged 0.98 of an inch for the week, but was concentrated along the storm’s path, leaving much of the state with totals of less than half an inch. The Central, East Central and Southeast districts have rain totals above normal for the period since March 1st, while the Panhandle has received only 30 percent of normal moisture for the same period. Topsoil moisture conditions continued to be rated mostly adequate. Subsoil moisture conditions were rated mostly short to very short, but 28 percent was now rated as adequate. There were only 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork.Small grain development was significantly behind normal, while conditions continued to be rated mostly good to fair. Wheat jointing was 86 percent complete by Sunday, while only five percent was headed, compared to 87 percent last year and a five-year average of 43 percent. Rye

Nebraska: For the week ending April 21, 2013, cold temperatures combined with precipitation in the form of snow and rain to halt spring fieldwork, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office. Soil moisture supplies in the east showed improvement; however, western counties received 0.5 inch or less of moisture during the week, doing little to build soil profiles. Young calves required attention as wet soils provided few dry places to lie down. In addition, temperatures which averaged 9 to 15 degrees below normal, stressed the new arrivals. The cold conditions lowered soil temperatures which declined into the low 40’s and upper 30’s statewide. Pastures continued to show little growth forcing producers to draw on already short forage supplies. Planting activities were at a standstill with only 1.6 days considered suitable for fieldwork. Statewide, topsoil moisture supplies rated 10 percent very short, 31 short, 56 adequate, and 3 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 49 percent very short, 41 short, 10 adequate, and 0 surplus. Wheat conditions rated 13 percent very poor, 30 poor, 46 fair, 11 good, and 0 excellent. Wheat jointed was 5 percent, behind last year’s 56 and 18 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: Heavy storms and showers covered most of the state last week, dropping 5.82 inches of rain statewide with some regions receiving close to 8 inches. Total statewide precipitation was 3.15 inches above normal. There were many reports across the state of flooding along rivers and streams along with standing water in many fields. Statewide temperatures averaged 48.7 degrees, 1.8 degrees below normal. The heavy rains along with the below average temperatures resulted in only 0.3 days suitable for fieldwork last week and very little progress in spring fieldwork. Topsoil moisture increased dramatically this week and was rated at 35 percent adequate and 65 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated at 5 percent short, 68 percent adequate, and 27 percent surplus. Winter wheat conditions were rated at 3 percent poor, 21 percent fair, 63 percent good, and 13 percent excellent. Pasture conditions were rated at 2 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 42 percent good, and 14 percent excellent.

Ohio: Two days were suitable for field work in Ohio during the week ending April 21 according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Rain throughout the State kept farmers from working in their fields for most of the week, particularly in the northern and western parts of the State where heavy rains and flooding occurred. Farmers in areas with less rain were able to do some field work, including planting oats and alfalfa. The rain has been beneficial to winter wheat, which is in a rapid growth phase. Overall the crop is looking good.

Michigan: One day was suitable for field work in Michigan during the week ending April 21 according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Rain, snow, and cold weather were prevalent last week. Rain fall totals are well above normal. Some areas saw more than 4 inches of rain. This participation coupled with snow melt and the rain received previously had streams and rivers running high. Flooding occurred, especially in southern Michigan. Low areas of fields were under water. Winter wheat in southern Michigan greened nicely. Wheat in northern Michigan remained dormant. Wheat in low areas of fields has been under water for a few days and there may be some loss. Fields were saturated so very little field work occurred last week.




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