USDA crop progress: Winter wheat condition slides again

G/E rating drops to 50%; meantime, corn harvest hits 95% completion.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

November 28, 2017

3 Slides

A week ago, USDA trimmed the 2017/18 U.S. winter wheat crop’s good to excellent rating from 54% to 52%. This week, USDA made similar cuts to that crop, cutting its’ G/E rating again, to 50%.

The crop’s full breakdown is 7% rated excellent, 43% good, 38% fair, 9% poor and 3% very poor. The week prior, 8% of the crop was rated excellent, with another 44% rated good. Still, some individual states have much-higher estimated G/E ratings, such as California (95%), Washington (88%), Ohio (88%) and North Carolina (86%).

Based on separate nationwide and state-by-state analyses, Farm Futures estimates the average yield at 46.7 to 49.8 bpa.

“Winter wheat ratings decline last week, losing around a quarter bushel per acre of yield potential overall according to our yield models,” says Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr. “But changes were not split evenly. Most soft red winter wheat states except Arkansas showed improvement, while most of the hard red winter wheat states on the Plains, lost round outside of Nebraska and South Dakota.”

This data was included in USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report, which also estimates about half of the remaining corn harvest was completed, moving from 90% of the total crop harvested to 95%. Wisconsin remains the furthest from the finish line, with 81% complete, but made strong headway from the week prior (69%). Other states with less than 90% of its 2017 corn harvest complete include Minnesota (84%), Ohio (87%) and Pennsylvania (86%).

Sorghum harvest moved from 83% complete a week prior to 90% complete for the week ending Nov. 19. Harvest progress remains slightly slower than last year’s pace of 93% and the five-year average of 92%.

Cotton harvest made relatively slower harvest gains, moving from 74% complete a week ago to 79%. Several states have less than three-fourths of the 2017 crop harvested, including Arizona (68%), Kansas (58%), Oklahoma (73%) and Texas (71%).

Sorghum harvest has matched the pace of corn over the past two weeks, with 90% complete a week ago and 95% complete as of Nov. 26. Each of the 11 states that account for 99% of the total U.S. crop have harvested between 94% and 100% of the 2017 crop, with the exception of New Mexico, which is just 75% complete.

About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings two decades of professional agricultural communications and journalism experience to Farm Futures. He began working in the industry in the highly specific world of southern row crop production. Since that time, he has expanded his knowledge to cover a broad range of topics relevant to agriculture, including agronomy, machinery, technology, business, marketing, politics and weather. He has won several writing awards from the American Agricultural Editors Association, most recently on two features about drones and farmers who operate distilleries as a side business. Ben is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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