Texas A&M University logo

The U.S. winter-wheat crop-condition index increased this past week. There was a 2 percent decrease in wheat rated fair and a 1 percent increase in both good and excellent. The index increased three points to 372.

An average index for this late in the season is 328 and is typically declining a point or two per week.

The share of wheat in the good and excellent categories this past week:

  • decreased by three points in Colorado from 77 to 74
  • increased by four points in Kansas from 56 to 60
  • increased 13 points in Oklahoma from 75 to 88.
  • Oklahoma is in the center of much of this past week’s severe weather.

Spring-wheat planting stands at 70 percent compared to the most recent five-year average of 80 percent. South Dakota is the most behind normal with 70 percent planted and 94 percent normal. The final planting date for spring wheat in the counties near the North Dakota border was May 15. The late-planting deadline is June 9.

Weather affecting crop development

This week’s precipitation outlook calls for heavy rain for the northern plains of the Dakotas eastward across the western Corn Belt. That extends down across much of Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of the Texas Rolling Plains. That will certainly impact winter-wheat crop development – 61 percent is headed in Kansas – as well as planting progress for spring wheat and corn.

Sea-surface temperatures along the equator in the eastern Pacific Ocean were 0.7 degrees more than normal this past week, an increase from a 0.5-degee-increased deviation the week before. The current forecast path for the Oceanic Nino Index was decreased this past week, with the median path of outlooks falling to less than the El Nino threshold – and back to neutral conditions by late fall – October-December.

Marketing strategies considered

Seasonal Index – The Seasonal Index for the Kansas City wheat contract for July typically shows some degree of price strength in March and again in May. Instead we hit a contract low in early March and set a new contract low in May.

2019 Wheat Marketing Plan – I have priced about 40 percent of my expected 2019 wheat crop. The first sale came on a price run to about $6 in February. I added to that sales level when planting of the 2019 crop began. I am pricing another 10 percent with this run back to 440. I am prepared to price more wheat on this rally, with still some time before harvest.

J. Mark Welch is a professor and grain-marketing economist with the Texas A&M University AgriLife-Extension Service. Visit agrilifeextension.tamu.edu for more information.