Forecasters are watching how drought conditions continue to negatively impact winter wheat

The latest drought monitor shows heavy rainfall helped improve drought conditions in the Midwest, south, and parts of the western U.S., but it was not enough to ease long-term drought conditions.

Some dryness continued across the northern high plains, south, and southeast, leading to drought expansion.

Those conditions continue to have a negative impact on the majority of the winter wheat crop. Forecasters have had their eye on the crop as it gets worse, and USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey explains their observations.

“For weeks now, we’ve been watching the status of winter wheat and the poor condition across the southern and central Great Plains, and despite a fairly stormy week last week, it’s not surprising that we have some significant issues with winter wheat conditions... Texas, which really didn’t get in on a lot of that storminess last week, continues to see some of the worst winter wheat conditions in the country-- 81 percent of the wheat rated very poor to poor conditions,” Rippey explains.

However, the winter crop gets better as you move north.

“Oklahoma is still dealing with some pretty serious drought, especially in the western part of the state-- 53 percent of the wheat rated very poor to poor. And just move northward into Kansas, which did a lot better than the recent storm-- 32 percent of the wheat rated very poor to poor.”

He adds that areas of the high plains have varying degrees of drought issues.


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