Winter Wheat Conditions Continue to Deteriorate in Southern Plains

Winter wheat in the southern plains continues to struggle due to unfavorable conditions
Winter wheat in the southern plains continues to struggle due to unfavorable conditions
According to a Bloomberg article, as dry, hot weather is expected across most of the southern plains in the next ten days, winter wheat conditions will continue to deteriorate. This will likely compound damage that has already been done by last year’s drought and freezing conditions in recent weeks past.

Mike Schulte, the executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, said in the article, “We’re going to see more damage to the crop. Without moisture, it could cook the plants.” This is certainly a concern as warm conditions and minimal precipitation in large winter-wheat producing states such as Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado are likely in the next few weeks.

About 73% of wheat produced in the United States is of the winter variety, and the Bloomberg article shows, as of May 19, just 31% of all winter-wheat fields were in good or excellent condition, the lowest percentage since 2006. The high temperatures and dry conditions will likely continue to dry out soil that is already parched.

Drew Lerner, the president of Kansas City-based World Weather Inc., said in the article, “Some of these guys are really hurting. Colorado has really been taking it rough the last two or maybe three years. They don’t have much moisture below the surface, so they don’t have the water supply to support anything. We expect to see the continuation of this seasonal warming pattern, and there’s not enough moisture in the ground to help this crop.”

Weather patterns across the southern plains have caused a struggle for winter wheat producers, and according to the Bloomberg article, conditions are unlikely to improve in the near future as warm, dry air moves in.