Winter wheat was rated 34% good to excellent as of April 20, 33% fair and 33% poor to very poor, compared with 34%, 34% and 32%, respectively, a week earlier, and 35%, 32% and 33%, respectively, at the same date last year.
But good to excellent ratings slid in Kansas to 24% (26% a week earlier), Oklahoma to 11% (14%), Texas to 12% (13%) and South Dakota to 66% (67%), while improving to 68% in Montana (65%) and holding steady in Colorado at 36% and in Nebraska at 59%.
Good to excellent ratings improved from a week earlier in five of the seven main soft winter wheat states, declining only in Missouri and Michigan.
Meanwhile, crop development continued to lag, with 9% of winter wheat overall headed as of April 20, slightly ahead of 7% last year but behind 17% as the 2009-13 average for the date.
Spring wheat planting in the six major states at 10% completed as of April 20, also was behind the average pace of 19% for the date, the U.S.D.A. said. Spring wheat was 1% planted in North Dakota (10% average), 17% in South Dakota (32%), 5% in Montana (16%), 65% in Washington (55%) and 79% in Idaho (48%). Planting was yet to begin in Minnesota, well behind the 27% average for the date.
Corn in the 18 major states was 6% planted as of April 20, just ahead of 4% last year but behind 14% as the average for the date. Two per cent of the crop was planted in Iowa (11% average), 5% in Illinois (22%), 4% in Nebraska (6%) and none in Minnesota (9%).