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US Plains wheat ratings decline in Kansas, mixed elsewhere

  • Winter wheat ratings also declined in Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota, but improved in Montana, the No. 4 winter wheat producer in 2020.
Published January 26, 2021
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CHICAGO: Condition ratings for winter wheat declined during January in Kansas, the top US winter wheat producer, but monthly ratings were mixed in several other Plains and Midwest states, the US Department of Agriculture said on Monday.

The United States is the world's second-largest wheat exporter after Russia.

The USDA issued its last national winter wheat ratings of the season on Nov. 30, reporting 46% of the US crop in good to excellent condition as of Nov. 29. Over the winter, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service releases monthly reports for select states. The government will resume weekly US crop progress reports in April.

The USDA rated 43% of the Kansas winter wheat crop in good to excellent condition as of Jan. 24, down from 46% at the start of the month. A year ago, 34% of the Kansas crop was rated good to excellent.

Winter wheat ratings also declined in Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota, but improved in Montana, the No. 4 winter wheat producer in 2020.

Farmers in the Plains states grow mostly hard red winter wheat, the largest US wheat class, which is milled into flour for bread.

Ratings improved in Illinois and Kentucky, where farmers grow soft red winter wheat used to make cookies and snack foods. But ratings declined in North Carolina, another soft wheat producer.

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