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Spring crop ratings continue strong

USDA’s weekly progress report as of June 17 continues to portray robust crops. In the 18 reporting states, 98 percent of the corn and 90 percent of the soybeans have emerged – 1 percentage point and 9 points ahead of average for this time of year.

With the exception of Kansas’s drought-plagued crops, corn and soybean condition is ahead of last year:

Good/excellent Corn Soybeans
2018 2017 2018 2017
Iowa 84 78 80 74
Kansas 57 61 56 67
Nebraska 86 78 82 72
South Dakota 66 49 61 48
18 States 78 67 73 67


Likewise, the bottom categories claim a smaller percent of the crop in most cases – and particularly in South Dakota.

Poor/very poor Corn Soybeans
2018 2017 2018 2017
Iowa 3 4 3 4
Kansas 6 7 6 3
Nebraska 1 4 2 5
South Dakota 2 17 4 16
18 States 4 8 5 7


Grain Sorghum

Eighty-nine percent of sorghum is planted in the 11 states and 18 percent has headed, 1 point ahead of average. All the states in our service region are ahead of average for planting, though the Kansas crop is 2 points behind in heading.

USDA rates the Kansas crop 61 percent in the top categories and 4 in the bottom; Nebraska and South Dakota each have 85 percent in the top categories and zero and 1 percent, respectively, in the bottom categories.


Sunflower planting is 7 percent ahead of average in the four reported states, at 83 percent complete, with South Dakota also 7 points ahead, at 75 percent complete.

Spring wheat

Spring wheat in the six reported states is 97 percent emerged and 9 percent headed. That represents 2 points ahead of average for emergence and 3 points behind for heading.

USDA rates the overall crop 78 percent good/excellent and 3 percent poor/very poor, against 41 percent and 27 percent respectively last year. South Dakota’s crop is rated 52 percent in the top categories and 11 percent in the bottom. Last year’s numbers for South Dakota were flipped, at just 13 percent and 64 percent.

Winter wheat

In the 18 states, harvest has progressed to 27 percent from 14 a week ago. This compares with 26 percent last year and 19 percent on average.

The condition ratings continue to show almost half (46 percent) of the Kansas crop poor/very poor and 18 percent good/excellent. For the 18 states those figures are 33 and 39 percent, respectively.

Kansas wheat harvest soared from 2 percent finished last week to 23 percent this week as farmers raced to get it out of the heat and wind. It was 19 percent complete this week last year and the average is 11 percent.

This year’s Wheat Quality Council’s winter wheat tour estimate the Kansas crop at 243.3 million bushels, the state’s lowest wheat production since 1989, and a hefty 90-plus million under last year’s crop. Their yield estimate is 37 bu./acre, well under last year’s 48-bu. yield.

On the positive side, the Kansas Wheat Tour reported exceptional protein and good test weights, though yields are highly variable – with one stop on the tour reporting 36 to 75 bu./acre.

Crop Insurance

Clearly, winter wheat is a crop for which there will be claims in some areas this year. Our crop insurance experts remind: Call your crop insurance officer as soon as you detect a loss, keep records by section and don’t commingle old-crop and new-crop before having measurements taken.


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Jun 25, 2019 | Crop Insurance

Slightly Lower Condition Ratings Take Center Stage

Like corn, soybean condition has deteriorated some in the past week.

Nov 25, 2020 | Crop Insurance

Winter Wheat Off to a Rocky Start

Winter wheat faces tough growing conditions. Producers might be hesitant to market their crop, even during good rallies. That’s where Revenue Protection comes in.

Jul 23, 2019 | Crop Insurance

Crop Progress and Condition Remain a Challenge

Grain Sorghum, on the other hand, is enjoying better ratings than recent past years.

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Frontier Farm Credit serves farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and rural residents in eastern Kansas. For inquiries outside this geography, use the Farm Credit Association Locator  to contact your local office.