Drought Continues to Impact Agriculture, Stress Winter Wheat & Oats
The latest Drought Monitor was just released this morning and shows varying weather patterns and conditions across the country.
Heavy precipitation fell across the mid-south into the northeast, but the rest of the country received little to no moisture, resulting in a gradual expansion of drought in the western U.S., the Midwest, and the southern Atlantic states. Heavy rainfall did keep drought at bay from the Ozark Plateau to the Tennessee Valley.
This time of year, many farmers turn their attention to spring planting when growing season takes full effect, but right now the dry weather is hindering grains ready for harvest, like winter wheat. USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey breaks down the numbers in key areas.
“In looking at some of the winter wheat conditions, things are worse in the south. As of February 27th, we’re looking at 75% of the Texas winter wheat crop grading in very poor to poor condition, 65% in Oklahoma, 38% in Kansas.”
Rippey says oats also face poor to very poor conditions in Texas and Oklahoma. He says the Central and Southern Great Plains are in desperate need of heavy rain or snow, but next week’s warm weather will likely make matters worse.