US Wheat Conditions Deteriorate Further

29/01/13 -- Whilst the USDA don't issue another weekly crop progress report until the spring, individual state offices do continue to issue monthly reports on field conditions and the latest ones came out last night.

In the top US winter wheat producing state of Kansas only 20% of the crop is now rated good/excellent (with only 1% in the top category), down from 24% at the end of December and 29% in the last USDA weekly report at the end of November.

The crop is now rated 39% as poor/very poor, versus 31% a month ago and 25% at the end of November.

Very considerable declines, made all the more shocking by the news that the ratings at the end of November were the worst on record for the US winter wheat crop heading into dormancy.

"Temperature averages for the month of January over most of the State were two to five degrees above normal. Rainfall was received in most areas of the State, with all 53 stations recording at least trace amounts of moisture for the month, but none received an inch or more," the report says.

Things are even worse in neighbouring Oklahoma, the second top wheat producing state in the US. Here the US Drought Monitor continues to report that the entire state is in a severe to exceptional drought. None of the crop at all is rated excellent and only 5% good, versus 11% at the end of December and 14% in late November. Poor/very poor conditions meanwhile are now a whopping 69%, from 61% at the end of December and 44% in late November.