Thanks to dryness “plaguing” many of the major wheat producing sections of the country, including the Pacific Northwest, concern is starting to grow about the upcoming winter wheat crop.  USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey said growers have planted 69% of the crop, which is 1% ahead of normal.  He noted weather conditions have been favorable for field work, but many growers he pointed out aren’t in the fields.


“With wide open conditions, you would expect a faster planting pace, that typically means producers are holding back a little bit, waiting for an improvement in moisture, waiting for rain before planting.  Or they are opting to dust in the crop and they’re hoping for rain in the near future.”


Meanwhile, Rippey said emergence is running well behind normal.


“That is definitely a red flag.  Just 38% of next year’s winter wheat acreage emerged”


Rippey said typical emergence for this time of year is around 44% nationwide.  He added markets will be watching the situation closely over the next couple of weeks, to see if any measurable rains fall in the Plains, the Midwest and here in the Northwest.


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