USDA Weekly Crop Progress Report

Winter Wheat Condition Rated 28% Good to Excellent in First USDA Crop Progress Report of Season

Anthony Greder
By  Anthony Greder , DTN/Progressive Farmer Content Manager
Connect with Anthony:
(DTN photo illustration by Nick Scalise)

This article was originally posted at 3:03 p.m. CDT on Monday, April 3. It was last updated with additional information at 3:44 p.m. CDT on Monday, April 3.


OMAHA (DTN) -- The severe drought conditions plaguing the Southern Plains were reflected in USDA NASS's first national winter wheat condition rating of the season.

In its first weekly national Crop Progress report of 2023 released on Monday, NASS estimated U.S. winter wheat condition at just 28% good to excellent, below the previous decade-plus low of 30% last year at this time. And with dry, windy conditions expected in the region the rest of this week, the crop appears unlikely to see much relief anytime soon, according to DTN forecasts.


-- Crop condition: Nationwide, winter wheat was rated 28% good to excellent, 2 percentage points below last year's rating at this time of 30%. Top winter-wheat producer Kansas' crop was rated just 16% good to excellent with 57% rated very poor to poor, noted DTN Senior Analyst Dana Mantini. Colorado winter wheat was rated 27% good to excellent and 33% very poor to poor. Oklahoma's and Texas' crops were rated at 26% and 18% good to excellent, and 40% and 47% very poor to poor, respectively, he said.

Hard red winter wheat conditions stand in stark contrast to current soft red wheat conditions in some states, Mantini noted.

"Some individual states show the difference between soft red wheat and hard red winter," Mantini said. "Soft red wheat producers Missouri's, Indiana's and Illinois' crops are rated at 75%, 69% and 56% good to excellent, respectively."

-- Crop development: 6% of winter wheat was headed nationwide as of Sunday. That's 2 percentage points ahead of last year's 4% and 4 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 2%. Texas' winter wheat was 29% headed, ahead of the average of 20%.


-- Planting progress: 2% nationwide as of Sunday, May 2, equal to both last year and the five-year average. Texas was the furthest ahead with 57% of its intended corn acres planted, just ahead of the state average of 54%.


The weather forecast for the rest of this week likely won't improve winter wheat conditions and won't be conducive to fieldwork in many areas of the country, though widespread warmer weather looks to be on the way next week, according to DTN Ag Meteorologist John Baranick.

"The weather conditions in the hard red winter wheat areas of the southwestern Plains have been dismal since the crop was planted back in the fall," said Baranick. "Drought has maintained its presence, even though the weather pattern has been extremely active with large systems moving through the country from coast-to-coast.

"Soft red winter wheat areas have ample moisture and should remain in good shape going forward, but these southwestern Plains HRW wheat areas are not looking to catch a break. Instead, in this active pattern, they have been seeing high winds, blowing dust and increasing risks of wildfires. That continues this week with a strong system moving through.

"Heavy snow will pile up in the Northern Plains where 1-2 feet are forecast in a wide area, while severe storms move through the middle of the country. The Gulf Coast will see the cold front to the system stall out and continue periods of showers and thunderstorms through the weekend.

"The southwestern Plains will be bypassed. Instead, the region will deal with another blast of strong winds, continuing the poor conditions. Elsewhere, it is largely too wet or too cold to do much fieldwork. The snowpack across the Northern Plains has a lot of water that needs to be released before any fieldwork can be done. A warmup next week may do the trick, or at least start the process. But the region will have to deal with some flooding first."

To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit…. Look for the U.S. map in the "Find Data and Reports by" section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state's "Crop Progress & Condition" report.


Editor's Note: How are your crops looking? Are they better, worse or right on track with USDA NASS' observations this week? Send us your comments, and we'll include them in next week's Crop Progress report story. You can email comments to or direct message him on Twitter @AGrederDTN. Please include the location of where you farm.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Planted 2 NA 2 2
Cotton Planted 4 NA 4 5
Winter Wheat Headed 6 NA 4 2
Sorghum Planted 13 NA 13 13
Oats Planted 25 NA 25 25
Oats Emerged 24 NA 23 23
Rice Planted 17 NA 11 14
Rice Emerged 10 NA 6 6


National Crop Condition Summary
(VP=Very Poor; P=Poor; F=Fair; G=Good; E=Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
Winter Wheat 16 20 36 25 3 NA NA NA NA NA 18 18 34 27 3

Anthony Greder can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @AGrederDTN

Anthony Greder

Anthony Greder
Connect with Anthony: