Canada Markets

North American Spring Wheat Crop Conditions

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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This chart highlights the decline in spring wheat crop conditions given weather challenges in 2017. The downward-sloping lines represent the crop condition index for Saskatchewan (blue line), North Dakota (black line) and Montana (purple line), as measured against the primary vertical axis. The red bars represent Alberta's Good-to-Excellent rating, as measured against the vertical axis on the right. (DTN graphic by Nick Scalise)

Crop conditions for spring crops on the Prairies and northern United States have shown further deterioration over the past week given the overall dry conditions and hot weather, although the damage is seen to be much more significant south of the border.

As seen on the attached chart, the downward sloping blue line shows a slide in Saskatchewan's crop condition index (CCI) from the first report of 198 as of May 29 to the July 11 report at 163, down close to 18% from the highest rating. This is below the five-year average for this week of 185.2 and is the lowest in two years, with the same-week index in 2015 calculated at 124.

Alberta's data is presented as a Good-to-Excellent rating, which is shown by the red bars against the percent scale on the right hand vertical axis. Alberta's spring wheat index improved to 84.2% Good to Excellent as of June 20, while has declined for three consecutive weeks since to 73.3%, or down 13% from its high. This trend is shown by the red bars measured against the percent scale on the right side of the chart. As seen with Saskatchewan data, 2015 data for the same week pointed to a much lower index in Alberta, while the current index is slightly higher than the average of the past four years.

The black and purple lines represent the trend in indices calculated for North Dakota and Montana, respectively. Both have reached the lowest levels traded in decades, with the first North Dakota index calculated at 157 on May 28, while the most recent is calculated at 54, down 66% from its high. Montana's index was calculated at 148 in late May and is currently calculated at minus 43, falling more than 100%. DTN analysis points to the U.S. 6-State spring wheat condition being the lowest since 1988 with a current CCI of 44, a year that saw year-over-year production plunge by 58% from the previous year.

The potential for these crops will continue to keep traders guessing, although the current conditions of hot and dry conditions are expected to continue. DTN weather analysis points to the hot and dry conditions to continue for the next seven days, while pointing to the potential for moisture over areas of the eastern Prairies after the seven-day window.

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