Winter Wheat Worries: Conditions are lowest in 26 years

Right now the winter wheat crop is in the worst condition in more than a quarter-of-a-century.

This week’s USDA report showed the crop at 30% good to excellent and 37% poor to very poor, which is the lowest we have seen this time of year since 1996.

The ratings show drought is causing some heading delays. Meteorologist Brad Rippey says there is a lack of normal development across the southern Great Plains.

“U.S. heading progress for winter wheat, 7% on April 17th, five-year average 12%. Last year at this time it was 9%. It’s really striking to look at a state like Texas, where it has been generally hot and dry 30% heading. Five-year average is 44%, and in Oklahoma, we do not see yet any heading progress. Five-year average is 21%, and that is definitely not a normal cycle of development considering that there has been quite a bit of warmth. There is just no moisture for crop development at this point.”

The current combination of drought, snow and freeze could damage the crop even more.


Drought Continues to Impact Agriculture, Stress Winter Wheat & Oats

Forecasters are watching how drought conditions continue to negatively impact winter wheat

USDA Crop Progress Report-- April 18, 2022