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Better Weather Improves Wheat Growing Conditions
South Dakota Ag Connection - 07/10/2019

Recent rains across dry areas and beneficial temperatures for much of the region the first week of July resulted in slight improvement in U.S. HRS crop condition ratings. Seventy-eight percent is rated good to excellent, up from 75 percent last week and similar to crop ratings a year ago. Improvements were shown in both North Dakota and Montana with ratings holding steady in Minnesota and South Dakota. The highest ratings are in North Dakota and Minnesota where more than 80 percent is rated good to excellent, followed by South Dakota at 71 percent, and 61 percent in Montana.

Crop development remains behind normal with just 56 percent of the U.S. crop headed which compares to the 5-year average of 73 percent. Minnesota is most advanced with 75 percent headed, near their 5-year average of 81 percent. All other states are about 20 to 30 percentage points behind normal ranging from 61 percent headed in South Dakota, 55 percent in North Dakota and just 36 percent in Montana. Disease pressures have increased in many areas due to the recent stretch of more frequent rains and higher humidity. With more of the crop reaching the critical heading stage, many producers are applying fungicides to manage the higher disease threat.

The North Dakota durum crop improved in its overall condition rating as of Sunday with 74 percent rated good to excellent, up from 65 percent the previous week. In Montana, the durum crop held steady with 41 percent rated good to excellent. Crop development remains behind a year ago with 47 percent headed in North Dakota, compared to 64 percent, and 25 percent headed in Montana, compared to 52 percent a year ago. Moderate to heavy rains across the major durum regions of the northern U.S. this week are certainly welcome, as much of the region remains below average for seasonal precipitation, and previous rains have been very scattered in coverage and impact.

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