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Sparse Rain, Hot Temps Stress Spring Wheat Condition
South Dakota Ag Connection - 07/12/2017

Sparse rainfall and hot temperatures across much of the spring wheat region caused crop condition rating to fall again this week. Percent of the U.S. spring wheat crop rated in good to excellent condition is at 35 percent, a decline of two percent from last week and considerably lower than last year's 70 percent. An additional 26 percent is rated in fair condition, and 39 percent is rated poor to very poor. Crop condition ratings are lowest in South Dakota, Montana and western North Dakota. Only 10-11 percent of the crop in South Dakota and Montana is rated in good to excellent conditions. Conditions improve in the eastern part of the growing region, and the bulk of the Minnesota crop is rated in good to excellent condition. However, the continued hot, dry conditions will still adversely impact yield in these areas to some extent. The forecast for the next ten days calls for continued hot temperatures - low 90's to 100 degrees - with minimal chances for precipitation.

Crop development remains above average, but behind last year's pace with almost 80 percent of the U.S. crop headed out. The earliest planted spring wheat is starting to turn color. For the most part, disease pressure, including Fusarium Head Blight (scab), has remained low. The exception would be in the eastern part of the growing region where pressure is a bit higher and producers are attentively monitoring the situation and applying fungicide where needed.

Durum conditions also declined this week due to the hot, dry conditions. In North Dakota 32 percent of the crop is rated good to excellent, 35 percent is in fair condition, and 33 percent is rated poor to very poor. Conditions declined more severely in Montana where only four percent is rated good to excellent, 31 percent is in fair condition, and 65 percent is rated poor to very poor. Just over half of the durum has headed out in North Dakota, equal to the five-year average, but behind 2016. In Montana, 60 percent has headed out, ahead of average.

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