A blizzard that hit large portions of the nation in recent days was disruptive for many schools and businesses, but the snow was a godsend for anyone concerned about the condition of the 2013 hard winter wheat crop, a group that certainly includes bakers. The massive winter storm rolled across the hard winter wheat region Feb. 20 and 21. The storm provided a thick blanket of snow across Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma with cover of a foot or more evident across much of the region. Virtually all of the drought-afflicted areas of the hard winter states received moisture. Heavy snow with its subsequent gradual melt is often described as an optimal source of soil moisture recharge. The weather event was predicted well ahead of the storm by forecasters offering the hopeful expectation the snowfall likely was the start of an overall wetter pattern into the spring. While the hard winter crop experienced poor conditions through the fall in many areas, a good crop is considered possible, even likely if spring weather cooperates. For ingredient buyers buffeted in recently years from the market effects of many poor crops (not only wheat), the turn in weather conditions could hardly be better news.
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