Despite rain over the eastern two-thirds of the state in the last week, the condition of the state’s winter wheat remains only slightly better than last year’s weak crop, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This year’s crop was rated 9 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 46 percent fair, 24 percent good, and 2 percent excellent. The results vary only 1 or 2 percentage points from last year in each category. After a dry April and May, last year’s crop wound being the worst in 25 years.
The soil across the state does contain somewhat more moisture than at the same time last year, according to the USDA.
The warmth of this year’s spring has meant the wheat crop is moving along much faster than last year, with 62 percent of the wheat jointing, compared to 38 percent last year, and 56 percent as the five-year average.
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The status of the crop was estimated prior to freezing temperatures across much of the western part of the state early Monday morning. It was the latest example of a wide swing in temperatures that can leave plants vulnerable. It’s uncertain how much damage was caused by those temperature swings.
Nearly a quarter of the state’s corn crop has been planted, with 8 percent emerged. Just 1 percent of the soybean crop has been planted.