Winter Wheat Could Suffer As Drought Increases In Kansas

Jan 16, 2018

The latest drought report shows that all of Kansas is drying out, with the southern parts of the state now being considered in extreme drought.

But what impact could this weather pattern have if it sticks around?

More than 50 percent of the state is currently seeing drought conditions, up from only 1.5 percent three months ago. And assistant state climatologist Mary Knapp says the outlook for the next three months isn't much better.

"It's looking very similar to last winter where we were very dry through the winter and then we got wet in April and May," she says.

If that's the case, spring crops won't be too affected but, "whether that rain will return in time to benefit winter wheat is the bigger question," she says.

Knapp says winter wheat is also being threatened by the recent periods of extreme cold. Kansas is the largest producer of winter wheat in the U.S. and produces between 280 million and 460 million bushels every year.

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Follow Brian Grimmett on Twitter @briangrimmett.

 

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