Corn and soybean planting are still weeks away for much of the central U.S., so some other row crops take center stage for USDA’s first Crop Progress report of 2019.
For the week ending March 31, USDA marks 56% of the 2018/19 winter wheat crop in good-to-excellent condition, mostly in line with analyst expectations of 55%. Another 35% of the crop is rated fair, with the remaining 9% rated poor or very poor.
Quality ratings proved uneven across the top 18 production states, however. California is leading the early charge, with 100% of the state’s crop in good-to-excellent condition, according to USDA. Nebraska (69%), Oklahoma (69%), Colorado (66%) and Oregon (64%) are also off to relatively strong starts.
Other states are struggling early, including Ohio (28%), Missouri (32%) and South Dakota (38%).
USDA also released a first round of data on planting progress for some southern row crops, including cotton and rice. For cotton, the agency notes planting progress has reached just 4% completion Beltwide, with Arizona (26%) and Texas (7%) currently underway.
Rice planting is also underway in four of the nation’s top six production states. Louisiana leads the way so far, at 49% complete. Texas (17%), Arkansas (6%) and Mississippi (4%) are just getting started. Nationwide, 12% of this year’s U.S. rice crop is now in the ground.
Click here to review additional crop progress data on sorghum and oats.