The hot, dry weather we’ve seen across much of the western United States has been “ideal” for spring wheat harvest, that according to USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey.  Harvest numbers, he noted, made a big jump this week, increasing 21% to 71% of the overall crop being cut to this point.


“Even with that big jump, still behind the five-year average of 83%, and last year’s 94%.  We did see nearly a doubling of harvest progress in North Dakota, 34% moving up to 64% during the week ending September 4th, but it’s still behind the five-year average of 80%.”


Meanwhile when it comes to winter wheat plantings, as of Sunday, 4% of the intended winter wheat acres were planted.  That number is equal to the five-year average, but is slightly behind last year.


“Many of the winter wheat production areas are unfavorably dry right now.  Really, that’s a double-edged sword, because that is favorable for planting, but of course you need the moisture soon for emergence and establishment.  So, that being said, we do see some likely delays due to the likely dry conditions in parts of the Northwest and delays due to the lateness of the winter wheat harvest.  Washington state coming in this week with just 7% of the crop planted, well behind the five-year average of 20% and last year’s 33%.”


Rippey stressed growers need rain for a good start to the 2023 winter wheat crop, but unfortunately, it does not look like, at this point, we’ll see measurable showers move across the PNW.


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