Fields of wheat

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the condition of the nation’s winter wheat crop slipped modestly, while spring wheat planting was making progress.

As of May 19, winter wheat in the 18 major states was rated 31 percent good to excellent, down a percent from the previous week, but well below last year’s 58 percent. This year 41 percent of the crop was rated poor to very poor, which compares to 14 percent last year. Just 31 percent of the crop was rated good to excellent. This year’s poorer ratings are due to lingering drought conditions and unseasonable cold spring temperatures across much of the wheat growing region.