By Anthony Greder
Winter wheat conditions improved slightly last week but remained at a two-decade low, USDA NASS reported in its final weekly national Crop Progress report of 2022 released Tuesday. The weekly reports, which run from the beginning of April to the end of November each year, will resume on Monday, April 3, 2023.
-- Crop development: 91% of winter wheat was emerged as of Sunday, Nov. 27, equal to last year and 1 percentage point ahead of the five-year average of 90%. "Illinois and Kansas are two major producers who are lagging at 84% and 87% emerged, respectively -- both trailing the five-year average," noted DTN Senior Analyst Dana Mantini.
-- Crop condition: 34% of the crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition, up 2 percentage points from the previous week's 32% but 10 percentage points below last year's rating of 44% good to excellent and the lowest reading in 20 years. "That portion of the crop rated as very poor to poor improved to 26% from 33% the week prior," Mantini said. "Major producer Kansas is rated at just 21% good to excellent and 43% poor to very poor."
Topsoil moisture: In the lower 48 states, topsoil moisture was rated 50% very short to short and 50% adequate to surplus. That compares to last year's ratings of 34% very short to short and 66% adequate to surplus.
Subsoil moisture: 56% very short to short and 44% adequate to surplus. That compares to last year's ratings of 38% very short to short and 62% adequate to surplus.
WEEK AHEAD IN WEATHER
The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade may be over, but farmers and ranchers should get ready for another parade -- this one of storms -- expected to move across the country in the next couple of weeks, according to DTN Ag Meteorologist John Baranick.
"It's going to be an active weather week," Baranick said. "This is all being set up by an upper-level trough in the West and a developing ridge in the Gulf of Mexico. The difference between the two will become strong, which increases the strength of the accompanying storms, allowing for otherwise minor disturbances to create larger storm systems with greater impacts.
"A front will sweep across the country through Wednesday. It will get a boost in the upper levels, creating a band of moderate snow from Nebraska to Wisconsin but will also feature severe weather across the South. The Lower Mississippi Valley into parts of the Southeast should see a sizeable threat for strong wind gusts and tornados, mostly on Tuesday afternoon and evening. Rains from this system will not be overly heavy, as the system is moving along fairly quickly, but will bring widespread rains to the eastern half of the country, which should help to reduce drought coverage and intensity.
"Another system will move through late this week and weekend. Here, a band of heavier snow is expected across the Northern Plains and far northern Midwest. The front will have less precipitation with it, but it should settle down into the Southern Plains and Tennessee or Ohio Valley this weekend. If it stalls out, we could see more appreciable precipitation along the front going into next week.Click here to see more...