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Timely Rains the Theme for This Wheat Season
USAgNet - 06/13/2018

The U.S. hard red spring wheat crop made good advancement in emergence this past week, reaching 94 percent nationally. This is up from 81 percent the previous week. The pace is equal to a year ago, and slightly ahead of the 5 year average of 89 percent. All states are at or slightly ahead of their long-term averages for emergence for this date, in spite of the delayed start to the planting season. Timely rains in many areas have helped spur germination where seed was planted in dry soils, and above average to hot temperatures have also accelerated emergence and initial growth.

The condition rating for the overall crop held steady with a week ago, with 70 percent of the national crop rated good to excellent, and just 3 percent poor to very poor. This is much higher than a year ago at this time when just 45 percent was rated good to excellent and 20 percent poor to very poor. By individual state, condition ratings compared to the prior week declined slightly in Minnesota, declined marginally in South Dakota and improved slightly in both Montana and North Dakota. Recent rains have been welcomed across parts of Montana and North Dakota where soils were becoming overly dry and producers becoming concerned about stress to the crop. In South Dakota, more rain would be welcomed in parts of it spring wheat region.

Timely rains will be the theme of this growing season, as the lack of subsoil moisture in much of the western and central part of the four-state region will keep crop conditions on a week-to-week basis. The recent stretch of well above average temperatures is a concern, and an added factor for timely moisture patterns. Currently topsoil moisture is good in most areas, ranging from 67 percent adequate to surplus in South Dakota to 70 percent in North Dakota, to nearly 85 percent across Montana and Minnesota. Subsoil moisture reserves are still 35 to 40 percent short to very short in both South Dakota and North Dakota.

The durum crop in Montana and North Dakota is nearly all planted, pegged at 98 percent in Montana and completed in North Dakota. Emergence is pegged at 86 percent in North Dakota, slightly behind a year ago but ahead of the five year average. In Montana, just 61 percent is emerged, behind both last year and the 5 year average. The condition of the North Dakota crop improved slightly from a week ago due to recent rains. It is currently rated at 69 percent good to excellent, up from 66 percent last week. The first conditions ratings for the Montana crop were issued this week, pegging it at 42 percent good to excellent with 53 percent fair.

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