Crop reports from key US winter wheat-growing states reveal
the extent of crop damage, after a cold and dry period.
Percentage of wheat crop rated good or excellent
End of December 40
Nov. 27 47
End of December 69
Nov. 27 70
End of December 44
Nov. 27 52
End of December 58
Nov. 27 77
End of December 46
Nov. 27 53
End of December 83
Nov. 27 78
End of December 25
Nov. 27 53
End of December 56
Nov. 27 51
The US Department of Agriculture saw just 25% of the
Oklahoma winter wheat crop in good or excellent condition for the month ended
This compares to 77% this time a year ago, and 53% good-or-excellent
condition in the last report, for the week to November 27.
"Oklahoma experienced cold and dry weather for the month of
December," the USDA said.
Similar declines were seen in other wheat states.
44% of the Kansas wheat crop was seen as good to excellent,
down from 52% at the end of November and 10 points below the rating this time a
"For the month of December 2016, near-normal temperatures
were experienced in eastern Kansas, whereas the west experienced temperatures
from three to five degrees below normal," said the USDA.
"Most of the State remained dry, prompting some concerns
over the development of winter wheat."
In Montana, the conditions dropped 15 points over the period,
to 58% good-or-excellent, while crop conditions in Colorado dropped 7 points,
to 40% good-or-excellent.
For Colorado, the USDA said "reporters in eastern districts
noted that lack of winter snow cover, coupled with cold and mostly dry
conditions, is a concern for the health of winter wheat stands".
Cold snap to
More cold weather is on its way for parts of the US Plains,
although there are hopes that snow coverage will arrive in time to protect the
winter wheat crop.
"Snow is expected to develop across western Nebraska and
northern Colorado tomorrow and will favour south-eastern Colorado, western
Kansas, and western Oklahoma, and northwestern Texas on Thursday and Friday,"
said Kyle Tapley, at MDA Weather Services.
"Snow cover is currently lacking in these areas, so the
increased snow cover will be needed to protect the winter wheat crop from very
cold weather later this week."
Drought fears to
linger despite snow
Cold conditions are not expected to be long lasting, but
drought may linger.
"Temperatures are expected to moderate quickly this weekend
and next week, which will lower winterkill threats," Mr Tapley said.
"The snow over the next few days in the western Plains may
slightly improve soil moisture, but drier weather will return this weekend and
A more detailed insight into US wheat conditions will come
in April, when the USDA resumes weekly national US crop condition and progress