According to the USDA's Wheat Outlook report, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) April 9 Crop Progress report indicated that 61 percent of the winter wheat crop is rated good to excellent and 10 percent was rated poor to very poor. A year ago at this time, 36 percent of the winter wheat crop was rated good to excellent and 36 percent was rated poor to very poor. The principal reason the 2011 winter wheat crop conditions were worse than this year’s conditions was the lack of moisture on the Central and Southern Plains.

Conditions are still poor in Texas, but not as bad as a year ago. This year 31 percent of the Texas crop is rated poor to very poor, compared with 66 percent for the 2011 crop. Oklahoma is much improved.

This year, only 4 percent of the Oklahoma crop is rated poor to very poor, compared with 60 percent for the 2011 crop. The year to year improvement in crop conditions for Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado follow a similar pattern. Respectively, the shares of each State’s 2011 and 2012 crops that rated poor to very poor are: Kansas, 37 percent to 6 percent; Nebraska, 20 percent to 5 percent; and Colorado, 57 percent to18 percent. For these HRW-producing States in the Central and Southern Plains, the average share of their winter wheat crops rated good to excellent is 56 percent.

The SRW-producing States are generally in good condition this year compared to the wheat crop in the Central and Southern Plains. The SRW-producing States 2012 crop averages 73 percent rated good to excellent and only 5 percent poor to very poor.

Last year at this time, the average percent rated good to excellent for these States was 66 percent with 7 percent poor to very poor. Among these States, Ohio’s crop is in the most difficult situation, with 50 percent rated good to excellent and 17 percent rated poor to very poor.

Conditions for the 2012 crop are also good in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). The three States in the the PNW average 77 percent rated good to excellent and only 5 percent poor to very poor. Last year, these States average 81 percent good to excellent and 2 percent poor to very poor.