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U.S. Winter Wheat Crop in Historically Rough Shape

The U.S. winter wheat crop condition continues to be historically low. Mike Schulte, marketing director for the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, says the rest of the world might want to take note of how dry it is in the southern U.S.

Schutle said; “You know, I don’t know that the rest of the world is just taking into account how bad it is in the Southern Plains of the United States. I’m hoping at some point in time, that the market is going to react to some of that. But if you just look at the Oklahoma crop progress numbers from this week, 53 percent of the crop is very poor to poor, 34 percent is fair, 12 percent is good, and one percent is excellent. Last year, we were at least in that 25 to 23 percent good-to-excellent range. And then if you look at the Kansas crop progress numbers, they’re even worse, So 60 percent of Kansas is in poor to very poor conditions, 26 percent is fair, 13 percent is good, and one percent excellent.”

He says following the drought monitor is all the explanation needed for the wheat crop’s rough shape.

Schulte; “You can just see when you look at the Drought Monitor, overall, in those areas that are in exceptional drought and extreme drought, you can certainly see why things are not favorable by just looking at northwest Oklahoma and the Panhandle regions where we have the majority of our top wheat-producing counties. And then, if you look in central and southwest Kansas and western Kansas as well on Drought Monitor, you see that 60 percent of that area is facing drought, with a large portion of that also being in exceptional and extreme drought.”

Schulte offers some historical context on the drought as well. “It’s unlike anything that I have ever seen in my tenure at the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, I was talking to a producer today in western Oklahoma who’s 71 years of age, and he said even in his experience, he’s never experienced anything like this from the standpoint of the extreme lack of moisture, the extreme high winds, and now the extreme hot temperatures that are coming earlier. And so, for that reason, I think the verdict is still going to be out there. There still is that 13 percent that is considered good to excellent in the state. But I think the verdict is still going to be out on that in the next five-to-six days if we don’t get moisture, are we even gonna be able to cut that? So, it’s certainly a concerning time for us and our wheat producers.”

Story provided by NAFB News Service and Ron Hays, Radio Oklahoma Network, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


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