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US winter wheat harvest hits 47%, spring wheat crop ratings improve

New Delhi — Winter wheat harvest in the US for the 2019-20 crop (June-May) hit 47% in the week ended July 7, up 17 percentage points week on week, led by big strides seen in Kansas, the nation's largest winter wheat producer.

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Kansas struggled with severe wet conditions in May and early June, slowing down crop development in the region earlier.

However, for the week ended July 7, winter wheat harvest in Kansas reached 61%, up from 28% in the week ended June 30, data from the US Department of Agriculture's crop progress report released late Monday showed. Kansas sold $1.3 billion worth of wheat in 2018, according to the USDA.

While winter wheat harvest progressed steadily in the latest week due to improved weather conditions, crop progress remained behind average for Montana and South Dakota, according to U.S. Wheat Associates, which looks into expanding global markets for US wheat producers.

Despite the improvement seen in Kansas, harvest is still lagging normal progress in most states, according to Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist at INTL FCStone.

Overall winter wheat harvest is still behind from the year-ago pace of 61%, USDA said.

Winter wheat crop conditions improved slightly from the past week, with 64% of the crop reported to be in good to excellent conditions, marginally higher than the trade expectation of 63%.

SPRING WHEAT

A total of 78% of spring wheat crop across key-producing states was reported to be in good to excellent conditions in the latest week, up 3 percentage points from the past week, according to the USDA report.

Market expected 76% of the spring wheat crop to be in good to excellent conditions.

Spring wheat is headed at 56% in the latest week, compared with 25% in the past week, with good crop progress seen in Idaho, Minnesota and North Dakota. Heading occurs when the head of the wheat plant fully emerges from the stem.

--Rohan Somwanshi, rohan.somwanshi@spglobal.com

--Edited by Debiprasad Nayak, debiprasad.nayak@spglobal.com