Wheat Crop Condition: HRW Crop Declines, Freeze Reports Preliminary

April 15, 2013 10:26 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 HRW wheat crop declined by 2.4 points from last week and the SRW wheat crop improved by just over 2 points from last week. Both crops' ratings remain below year-ago levels.

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 14, 2013, central and eastern areas of Kansas saw precipitation in the form of rain, ice, snow and isolated hail, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kansas Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions improved in areas that received the moisture; however, more is needed to have an impact on subsoil moisture supplies. Temperatures for the week were below normal with lows falling below freezing in the western half of the State. Producers were concerned about the impact of the low temperatures on their wheat crop but it is too early to determine the amount of damage. Some corn was planted early in the week where soil conditions allowed with producers eager to get into the fields. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 15 percent very short, 25 percent short, 55 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 36 percent very short, 37 percent short, 26 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Producers averaged 3.2 days suitable for fieldwork last week. The Kansas winter wheat crop was 35 percent jointed, behind 89 percent a year ago and 47 percent average. The condition of the crop was rated as 12 percent very poor, 21 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 27 percent good, and 3 percent excellent.

Texas: Many parts of the state received measurable rainfall again last week. Some producers in the Cross Timbers saw as much as 2 to 3 inches, while pockets in the Upper Coast and South East Texas measured 3 to 5 inches. Areas from South Central to North East Texas also benefitted from scattered showers and localized accumulations up to 2 inches. Small Grains: The Plains recorded another hard freeze last week and producers were still assessing damage to wheat crops. Some producers in the Cross Timbers and the Blacklands noted significant damage to small grains from the previous week's freeze. Wheat fields in East Texas began to head as did some irrigated fields in South Central Texas. Some oats in the Edwards Plateau were being cut for hay.

Oklahoma: The week began with warm temperatures and highs into the 80s. However, a storm front and a cold front came across Oklahoma mid-week bringing rainfall, ice and plunging temperatures. All of central and western Oklahoma dropped below freezing, with a hard freeze over most of northwestern Oklahoma. Beaver County spent more than 40 hours below freezing, and Boise City tied the record for the lowest temperature ever recorded on April 11th in Oklahoma, at 15 degrees. The extent of the freeze damage on small grains was still being assessed, but preliminary indications reported some level of damage to 69 percent of small grains. Precipitation for the week averaged 0.86 of an inch for the state, with the highest totals in the Central district, averaging 1.35 inches. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated mostly adequate, and six percent was rated surplus. Subsoil moisture conditions were rated mostly short to very short, but 25 percent was now rated adequate. There were only 4.0 days suitable for fieldwork. Preliminary reports of freeze damage to small grains showed some damage across 69 percent of small grains. Wheat jointing was 78 percent complete by Sunday, 10 points behind the five-year average and 17 points behind this time last year.

Nebraska: For the week ending of April 14, 2013, precipitation in the form of rain, snow and hail crossed the state with many locations receiving 1 to 3 inches of moisture, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office. This boosted topsoil moisture supplies, but shut down spring fieldwork activities. High winds overturned pivots in parts of the state. Temperatures which averaged 8 to 16 degrees below normal stressed young calves and made livestock care difficult. Pastures continued to show little growth, resulting in livestock producers drawing on already short forage supplies. Topsoil temperatures declined and were in the low 40's in many eastern and southern counties. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 20 percent very short, 33 short, 45 adequate, and 2 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 55 percent very short, 38 short, 7 adequate, and 0 surplus. There were 1.8 days suitable for fieldwork. Wheat conditions rated 17 percent very poor, 33 poor, 38 fair, 12 good, and 0 excellent. Wheat jointed was 3 percent, behind last year's 34 and 10 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: Cool, wet weather was the main story throughout much of the state last week. Statewide temperatures averaged 52.8 degrees, 2.9 degrees above normal. Total precipitation received across the state last week totaled 1.89 inches, 0.83 inches above normal. With only 1.5 days suitable for fieldwork last week, not much fieldwork was completed. A few operations were able to start planting corn but most were forced out of the fields by rain early in the week. Topsoil moisture was rated at 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and 25 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated at 4 percent very short, 17 percent short, 75 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus. Cold soil temperatures are another factor delaying a strong start to corn planting. Winter wheat conditions were rated at 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 20 percent fair, 65 percent good, and 12 percent excellent.

Ohio: Three days were suitable for field work in Ohio during the week ending April 14 according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. With warmer than usual temperatures, some farmers were able to make progress on field work early in the week. Growers across the state were busy applying fertilizer, lime, and herbicides. Oats were planted, and in a few areas, corn as well. Heavy precipitation from Wednesday on, especially in the northern parts of the State, helped increase soil moisture but halted field activities late in the week. The warmer weather, coupled with precipitation, improved wheat condition.

Michigan: One day was suitable for field work in Michigan during the week ending April 14 according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Heavy precipitation in the form of rain or snow fell everyday last week. Snowfall accumulation totals in the northern reaches of the state ranged from 6 to 12 inches. Very little field work occurred. Water ponded in low areas of fields. Soil temperatures remained cold. A few oats were planted. Sugarbeets that were planted two weeks ago have not yet emerged. Wheat in the southern part of the State has broken dormancy and began to green. Wheat in the northern part of the State remains dormant.




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