American Spring Wheat Conditions

We also report the percentage of spring wheat heading at week 28 with the red numbers in the yellow squares.

This year’s week 28 spring wheat score of 748 is decent, above the 20-year average of 721 and the full 1986-2022 average of 713 and of course eclipses the score of 440 a year ago. year which, aside from a rating of 404 in 1988 — also a year in which major spring wheat producing states were ravaged by drought like 2021 — is the lowest since the USDA launched the ratings national in 1986.

Earlier this month, the USDA, in its first estimate of the U.S. spring wheat crop, pegged the 2022 yield at 47.0 bushels per acre (bpa), well above the prior year 32.6 bpa but below the 25 year trend of 47.4 bpa which is down quite a bit from last year’s 25 year trend of 49.8 bpa due to the horrible 2021 return now used in trend calculation.

A few observations are that 68% of this year’s crop is rather low, in fact the lowest since 2011 and the fifth lowest since 1986 due to the late start to sowing this year due to a cold and wet spring.

There is mixed evidence as to what this does for yields, but running a regression using both percentage of ears and crop odds from the third week of July calculates a yield end this year by 3.4% above trend, or 49.0 bpa, which would be a new record high.

Since the Spring Wheat States have benefited from the rains coming up and crossing the high pressure ridge that has moved from the Rocky Mountains to the Corn Belt and back frequently, this assumption cannot be disputed.