State winter wheat condition reports show declines

by Laura Lloyd
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KANSAS CITY — State field offices of the U.S. Department of Agriculture released hard red winter wheat crop condition reports Monday afternoon that showed modest declines in top-producing Kansas as well as in Texas and Oklahoma. These states have been issuing weekly reports that cover crop conditions as well as information on weather.

Hard red winter wheat was emerging from dormancy, and crop scouts will be better able to ascertain if abnormally cold winter temperatures or excessively dry conditions in parts of the Great Plains did any real damage to the crop.

In Kansas, the U.S.D.A. field office reported a downward trend in soil moisture amid dry conditions in the week ended March 23. Winter wheat was rated 33% good to excellent (34% a week earlier), 46% fair and 21% very poor to poor (20% a week earlier).

In Oklahoma, the U.S.D.A. field office said low moisture and high winds were a “major concern” in the week ended March 23. Topsoil moisture in the latest week was 72% very short to short, and subsoil moisture was rated 80% very short to short. Seventeen per cent of the wheat crop was rated good to excellent (18% a week earlier), 41% fair (45%) and 42% poor to very poor (37%).

The U.S.D.A.’s Texas field office reported very little precipitation and warmer weather in the Lone Star state in the week ended March 23. The wheat crop was rated 11% good to excellent (13% a week earlier), 34% fair (35%) and 55% very poor to poor (52%).
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