Winter wheat planting is behind schedule in a number of areas, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) numbers released this past Monday.
NASS reports that only 60% of the U.S. winter wheat crop had been planted, down 11% percent overall when compared to the country’s five-year average of 71%.
Kansas is on a slow pace this fall with just 42% of the crop planted. In most years, about 75% of the crop has been seeded by now.
Oklahoma is lagging its five-year planting average by 19%. Only 57% of the state’s winter wheat crop is in the ground compared to its five-year average of 76%.
USDA scouts noted that in the Midwest "continued cool and wet conditions again last week delayed fieldwork… but provided welcome moisture in areas."
Montana farmers have planted 81% of their winter wheat as compared to their five-year average of 86%.
"Soil moisture conditions were recorded with 57% of topsoil rated very short to short, compared to 30% the previous year," the USDA said of Montana. In some parts of the state, scouts noted that hard frosts and low temperatures had also slowed planting progress.
Looking ahead to the next several days, Eric Luebehusen, USDA agricultural meteorologist, reports today on some of the weather conditions farmers can expect:
- Toward week’s end, rain will develop in the vicinity of a cold front stretching from the upper Great Lakes States southward to the western Gulf Coast region.
- Warm, dry weather will prevail, in the eastern U.S., except for lingering showers across Florida.
- Dry weather will also cover central and southern California and much of the Southwest; cooler-than normal conditions can be expected from the Gulf Coast northward into the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio Valleys.
- Expect near to below-normal precipitation from the Mississippi Valley westward.
- A period of mild, tranquil weather followed by the return of stormy conditions…in (parts of) the Northwest. Five-day precipitation totals could exceed a foot in the Pacific Northwest, west of the Cascades.
- Starting Friday, significant snow accumulations can be expected at higher elevations from the Cascades to the northern Rockies.