USDA Weekly Crop Progress Report

Winter Wheat Condition Rated 56% Good to Excellent in First National 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 1. It was last updated with additional information at 3:44 p.m. CDT on Monday, April 1.


OMAHA (DTN) -- The nation's winter wheat crop is starting the growing season in significantly better shape than it was last year, according to USDA NASS.

In its first weekly national Crop Progress report of 2024 released on Monday, NASS estimated U.S. winter wheat condition at 56% good to excellent, up from a decade-plus low of 28% at the same time last year.

While some parts of the major winter wheat-growing areas of the Southern Plains have been drier at the end of March, more chances for precipitation are forecast through April, according to DTN Ag Meteorologist John Baranick.


-- Crop condition: Just 11% of winter wheat was rated poor to very poor, down from 36% a year ago, noted DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman. "Poor-to-very-poor ratings were highest at 18% in Texas, 16% in Washington and 15% in Kansas, large winter wheat-producing states," Hultman said.

-- Crop development: 4% of winter wheat was headed nationwide as of Sunday. That's 1 percentage point behind last year's 5% and 2 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 2%. Texas' winter wheat was 20% headed, behind last year's 28% and slightly behind the state's average pace of 22%.


-- Planting progress: 2% nationwide as of Sunday, equal to last year and 1 point ahead of the five-year average of 1%. Most corn planting took place in Texas, which was 57% complete -- slightly ahead of 56% last year and ahead of the five-year average of 53%.


The Plains and Midwest could receive a good drink of water this coming week, though with it comes a chance of severe weather, according to DTN Ag Meteorologist John Baranick.

"Some areas of the southwestern Plains hard red winter wheat areas have been drier in the more active pattern that has taken shape at the end of March. Still, there are more chances of precipitation coming up as this active pattern continues, probably through the month of April," Baranick said.

"A larger storm system will be moving from the Southern Plains into the Midwest and then the Northeast this week. It promises to bring some heavy rain to the Midwest, but also some needed moisture for some in the Plains. Severe weather risks will be there as well.

"Another trough will dive into the West later this week and should bring a wave of showers into the Plains this weekend, possibly the western Midwest as well. And then it should develop another larger storm system for early next week that could bring in some needed moisture as well.

"The rest of the country should be more caught up in the active pattern, helping to fill up subsoil moisture in a lot of areas and possibly bogging down planting or other fieldwork. However, as temperatures increase later this month, we may see the active pattern being a net positive and planting still being able to be completed on a nearly on-time basis. It might just take a little extra planning and luck from Mother Nature."

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 1
Cotton Planted 3 NA 3 4
Winter Wheat Headed 4 NA 5 2
Sorghum Planted 11 NA 12 13
Oats Planted 30 NA 24 24
Oats Emerged 25 NA 23 22
Rice Planted 12 NA 15 12
Rice Emerged 7 NA 9 5


National Crop Condition Summary
(VP=Very Poor; P=Poor; F=Fair; G=Good; E=Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
Winter Wheat 4 7 33 49 7 NA NA NA NA NA 16 20 36 25 3

Anthony Greder can be reached at

Follow him on x, formerly Twitter, @AGrederDTN

Anthony Greder

Anthony Greder
Connect with Anthony: