US wheat farmers raise bet on rains coming good
US farmers upped their gamble that rains will refresh winter wheat, catching up on seedings, even as lingering dryness slowed crop development and worsened the condition of seedlings in the top growing state.
Growers sowed 10% of their winter wheat last week, putting themselves, at 81% completion, narrowly ahead of the average for the time of year, despite a slow start, US Department of Agriculture showed.
However, crop emergence, at 49%, remained behind the typical pace, particularly in more northerly areas.
In Nebraska, emergence was 29 points behind average “due to dry soils”, USDA officials said, while the South Dakota crop was lagging by 67 points.
At Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Luke Mathews said: “The slow rate of emergence is of particular concern in the dry northern hard red winter wheat belt.
“These crops will be poorly established leading into winter dormancy.”
‘Dry, windy and warm’
In Kansas, the main US wheat-growing state, the “dry, windy and warm” weather last week which USDA scouts said allowed farmers to “start wrapping up wheat planting” also tested the condition of the emerging crop.