According to the latest USDA Crop Progress report 77% of the nation's winter wheat has been planted. That is two points ahead of the five-year average and an improvement over last year when many states in the Midwest were running behind. Dan O'Brien with Kansas State University tells AgDay-TV that drier weather this year is both good and bad.
“The challenge of that is when it's dry, we wonder about yield prospects," says O'Brien. "If we can grow a crop and under tougher conditions, we'll have higher protein."
O'Brien says that's the balancing act wheat growers so often face. As spring wheat harvest wraps up and winter wheat crops get planted, prices have increased or traded mostly sideways. Chicago December wheat futures climbing off September lows are now back above the five dollar mark.
"I haven't heard anyone out in the country that says they are not going to plant wheat, but it's more of a moderate thing at this time," says O'Brien.
Winter wheat planting is mostly on schedule or slightly ahead except in the northern states of Montana and Michigan. Nationally, a little more than half of the crop has emerged. In Montana, just 40% of the crop has emerged which is more than 30 points behind the five-year average.
Click on the video to watch the entire interview with Dan O'Brien and Tyne Morgan.