Be Thankful for Winter Wheat Ratings!


Crop conditions are always tied into wheat prices and, this year, it seems as though our region could be primed to take advantage of being better than average.  According to the latest numbers from the USDA, things aren’t getting that much better for our U.S. winter wheat crop.  If we were on target with last year, the 18 combined states that produce the majority of our countries winter wheat would see that crop rated as 64{4d08edaf359bc2115b18a651716ebd427a137946ddca2143fa23b3ea721061e4} good-to-excellent.  That is not the case.  This week’s rating at 47{4d08edaf359bc2115b18a651716ebd427a137946ddca2143fa23b3ea721061e4} good-to-excellent only crept up slightly from last week’s 46{4d08edaf359bc2115b18a651716ebd427a137946ddca2143fa23b3ea721061e4}.

But, one thing to be thankful for here at the end of November is that the two states in our region that qualify as being part of that 18 states combination are fairing a lot better than average.  Montana’s winter wheat crop is rated 76{4d08edaf359bc2115b18a651716ebd427a137946ddca2143fa23b3ea721061e4} good-to-excellent and 70{4d08edaf359bc2115b18a651716ebd427a137946ddca2143fa23b3ea721061e4} of the South Dakota crop has that rating.  The 76 and 70 percent ratings are compared to a national average of 47{4d08edaf359bc2115b18a651716ebd427a137946ddca2143fa23b3ea721061e4}.

So how much of a difference will this make at harvest time next year?

According to analysis from DTN, a study of 25 year early-November crop ratings versus final winter wheat yields shows only a modest correlation. If you look only at the 13 years when winter wheat was rated below the average good or excellent, final yields were below the trendline in only five of those years by an average of 6{4d08edaf359bc2115b18a651716ebd427a137946ddca2143fa23b3ea721061e4}. The 12 years when early conditions were above average, wheat yielded 7{4d08edaf359bc2115b18a651716ebd427a137946ddca2143fa23b3ea721061e4} better than trend.


© Northern Ag Network 2010

Haylie Shipp


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