Winter Wheat Conditions Worsen; Drought Persists
A new U.S. Department of Agriculture report says winter wheat conditions are the worst they've been since 1985. It’s the fourth straight week that the outlook for the country’s winter wheat farmers has declined.
In Colorado, 34 percent of the state’s crop is rated as very poor to poor condition. That will likely translate into lower yields, according to Colorado Association of Wheat Growers Executive Director, Darrell Hanavan.
“The germination rate will be lower than normal. So that means the prospect for having an average yielding crop is not there,” he says.
Across the country, farmers have been battling an exceptionally dry year. While the situation had been improving over the past five weeks, a new report from the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that the situation is worsening.
While winter wheat yields could be lower across the state in 2013, Hanavan says supply could be further impacted if farmers decide to plant soybeans or other crops in lieu of spring wheat.
“We’ll have to see what the final impact will be. It’s not just yield. It’s going to be acres,” he says.
One silver lining for Colorado is that 66 percent of the state’s winter wheat crops are rated as fair or good. That means those crops have a greater likelihood of bouncing back if rain or snow comes to Colorado’s eastern plains, where most winter wheat is grown.