Drought, snow, freeze further damaging U.S. wheat

An ag economist says his concerns of tight wheat ending stocks are getting worse with more adverse weather in parts of the Western Plains and Western Cornbelt.

The University of Missouri’s Ben Brown said freezing temperatures early this morning in states like Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska give farmers a reason to worry.

“Well, we don’t want freeze warnings when the wheat is coming out dormancy…,” he said. “This morning would’ve been something that would’ve caused some panic.”

Brown said the freeze might have knocked out some early planted soybeans too.
He says drought conditions in Nebraska and Kansas are still driving down crop condition ratings. 

And he tells Brownfield while weekend snows in the Dakotas are providing some drought relief, they could hurt the hard red winter wheat crop as it comes out of dormancy. 

“We like to see that snowpack when it’s in dormancy because then it helps protect it against really hard freezes,” Brown said. “This time of year, we like to see the sun shining; help that crop develop.”

But he said soft red winter wheat has benefitted from recent rains.

“Those areas would be western Missouri, eastern Kansas, places across Indiana and Ohio, [and] into Michigan,” he said. “Those places all have had the moisture to really develop that soft red winter wheat.”

Brown said South America’s wheat crop is in decent shape as of now and could eventually help relieve some global supply tightness.

Brownfield interviewed Brown on this week’s episode of the Weekly Commodity Market Update.

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