Seeding of winter wheat started in late September. Farmers were waiting for improved moisture conditions for germination before planting their fall grains. Seeding progressed slowly during October as farmers waited for additional moisture to improve soil moisture. Seeding was 62 percent complete by the last week of October. On November 10, winter wheat seeding was 90 percent complete. This equaled last year and was ahead of the 81 percent for average. Most farmers report adequate moisture for seeding and germination while some report conditions too dry to seed. condition of the emerged crop was 1 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 55 percent good and 14 percent excellent.
U.S. winter wheat planted area for harvest 2009 was estimated at 42.1 million acres, down 9 percent form 2008. Seeding began last August behind the 5-year average pace and remained behind until mid-November due to weather and delayed row crop harvest. Nearly all of the U.S. acreage was seeded by December 1 with the exception of some intended acres in the Southeast and California. Seeding was completed by the end of December in California. The winter wheat crop condition at the end of November was rated 65 percent good to excellent compared with 44 percent the previous year.
Soft Red Winter wheat area, at 8.29 million acres was down 26 percent from last year. Kentucky seeds soft red winter wheat. Large acreage decreases from last year occurred in all growing states due largely to the late row crop harvest, high input costs and the fall in wheat prices. Planted area decreased 350,000 acres or more in Arkansas, Illinois and Missouri.