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US spring wheat harvest struggles, winter planting continues at strong pace

New Delhi — The harvest of US spring wheat for the 2019-20 crop year (June-May) reached 96% in the week to October 20 amid slow harvest in North Dakota and Montana, data from the US Department of Agriculture showed.

Spring wheat harvest is below both last year's average and the five-year average pace, when harvest was 100% complete by this time. Harvest in the latest week is also below market expectations of 97%.

North Dakota and some parts of the Midwest recently faced a snowstorm, which slowed down harvesting in the region

All the remaining snow cover across North Dakota has now melted, but soil remains wet, preventing fieldwork, US-based Maxar Technologies said in its latest note.

North Dakota is expected to produce 8.7 million mt of spring wheat in 2019-20, the largest volume among all US states.

Spring wheat harvest in North Dakota is continuing at a slower-than-usual pace, reaching 95% in the week ended October 20, well behind 100% in the same period a year earlier, according to a separate report released by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Spring wheat harvest in Montana was seen trailing at 92%, compared with 97% a year ago, NASS data showed.

Montana is expected to produce 2.3 million mt of spring wheat in 2019-2020, the USDA earlier said in its crop production report.

WINTER WHEAT PLANTING

Winter wheat planting for the 2020 crop season in the key states continued at a strong pace, reaching 77% in the week to October 20, up from 65% a week ago.

The estimate for winter wheat planting was above market expectations of 76%.

The 2020 wheat crop season will begin June 1, 2020.

Winter wheat emerged was seen reaching 53% in the week to October 20, up from 52% a year earlier.

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

-- Edited by Shashwat Pradhan, newsdesk@spglobal.com