Spring Wheat Growers Have Reason to Worry

With everybody looking at the slight decline in corn ratings and the first soybean measure of the year, many people overlooked the horrid condition of spring wheat.

About 45% of the crop in the northern Plains was in good or excellent condition, down from 55% at the same time last year and the worst rating for this time of year since 1988, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In North Dakota, the biggest grower of spring wheat, only 43% of the crop is in good or excellent condition.

Spring wheat contracts on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange seem to be in play this week with volumes rising amid interest anew in the variety. Futures are up another 16 cents in overnight trading after rising about 14% since mid-May.

The good news for growers in the region is that there was a significant rain event on Monday. That will help boost crops in the region for a while. The bad news is little rain is forecast for the region beyond that. The best chance in the next week is on Saturday but that’s only a slim prospect.

With 95% of the crop emerged, the plants will begin to develop quickly. Heading and flowering generally start in July but tillering and head development are also important stages that occur earlier, meaning rain also is essential for the rest of June.


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