Not Kind to the Wheat Crop: How lack of rain in April is weighing on the growing season

The month of April was not kind to the U.S. winter wheat crop.

Every Thursday, the USDA helps release the U.S. Drought Monitor as well as how those conditions are impacting ag commodities across the country. The latest map for winter wheat areas in drought shows 28 percent of production is experiencing some level of dryness. That is almost double the amount seen at the end of March.

The main reason for the jump is the hard red winter wheat crop in Kansas, which is the largest producing state, saw below-normal to almost no rainfall last month. Very warm temperatures have also moved the crop along to advanced post-dormancy states, with 33 percent of wheat in Kansas now headed. That is more than five times what is usually seen at this time. The limited moisture could lead to small kernels and lower yields.


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