Cold Spell across Midwest Stymies Winter Wheat Harvest

Winter wheat in the Midwest has been slowed due to a cold snap across the plains
Winter wheat in the Midwest has been slowed due to a cold snap across the plains

Current winter wheat numbers trail far behind this date in 2012, much in part due to the cold spell across most of the Midwest, where the majority of winter wheat is harvested. The winter wheat headed numbers are based off of the latest USDA “Crop Progress” report, which gathered data from across 18 states that provided 87% of 2012’s winter wheat.

Texas and Kansas are historically two of the largest producers of winter wheat, and each are struggling with 2013 production according to the report. At this time in 2012, Texas had headed 65% of its winter wheat, but in 2013 just 34% has headed. Kansas, which is usually the largest producer of winter wheat, has reported 0% of its winter wheat has headed, compared to 41% on this date in 2013.

The cold weather and its influence on crops in the Midwest are especially noticeable in Kansas, which has experienced record low temperatures as displayed in a recent Bloomberg article. “Mean temperatures across four of nine crop districts in Kansas in the first 18 days of April were the lowest since record-keeping started in 1895,” said Mary Knapp, the state climatologist. “The cold snap came as analysts, traders, farmers and buyers prepared for the Wheat Quality Council’s annual three-day tour of Kansas fields starting April 30.”

Winter wheat numbers across the Midwest plains are significantly behind this date in 2012, likely due to the historic cold snap across most of the area, as shown in the Bloomberg article and USDA report.