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Crop progress: Winter wheat quality trends unexpectedly higher

Corn and soybean quality ratings fall further than expected, in contrast.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

June 17, 2024

2 Min Read
wheat harvest
Getty Images/iStockPhoto

USDA’s newest crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through June 16, held mixed but mostly bullish data for traders to digest. Of particular note, corn and soybean quality ratings each spilled two points lower, with analysts only expecting a one-point decline for each crop. In sharp contrast, winter wheat quality ratings trended two points higher, with analysts expecting a one-point decline, instead.

Corn quality ratings shifted two points lower last week, with 72% of the crop now rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 23% of the crop is rated fair (up two points from last week), with the remaining 5% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from a week ago).

Physiologically, 93% of the crop is now emerged, up from 85% a week earlier and slightly ahead of the prior five-year average. USDA is no longer tracking planting progress.

Soybean plantings moved from 87% last week up to 93% through Sunday. That puts this year’s pace behind 2023’s mark of 97% but still ahead of the prior five-year average of 91%. And 82% of the crop is now emerged, which is three points ahead of the prior five-year average of 79%.

Soybean quality ratings faded two points lower last week, with 70% of the crop now in good-to-excellent condition. Another 25% is rated fair (up one point from last week), with the remaining 5% rated poor or very poor (up one point from last week).

Planting progress for some regional crops continues to move forward, meantime, including:

  • Cotton = 90% (up from 80% last week)

  • Sorghum = 80% (up from 65% last week)

  • Peanuts = 96% (up from 90% last week)

Winter wheat quality ratings reversed two points higher this past week, while analysts were instead expecting to see a one-point drop. That leaves 49% of this season’s crop rated in good-to-excellent condition through June 16. Another 34% is rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 17% rated poor or very poor (down two points from last week).

Physiologically, 94% of the crop is now headed, up from 89% a week ago and favorable to the prior five-year average of 91%. Harvest reached 27% completion, up from 12% last week and nearly doubling the prior five-year average of 14%.

Spring wheat quality ratings jumped four points higher last week, with 76% now in good-to-excellent condition. That’s five points higher than analyst expectations of 71% G/E. Another 20% of the crop is rated fair (down five points from last week), with the remaining 4% rated poor or very poor (up one point from last week).

Click here for more data from the latest UDSA crop progress report, including other regional crop planting updates, plus a state-by-state look at topsoil moisture, days suitable for fieldwork and more.

Read more about:

Crop Progress

About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings two decades of professional agricultural communications and journalism experience to Farm Futures. He began working in the industry in the highly specific world of southern row crop production. Since that time, he has expanded his knowledge to cover a broad range of topics relevant to agriculture, including agronomy, machinery, technology, business, marketing, politics and weather. He has won several writing awards from the American Agricultural Editors Association, most recently on two features about drones and farmers who operate distilleries as a side business. Ben is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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