Winterkill Likely in Wheat Belt

Dan Grain, Industry News Release, Weather

wheatA large portion of the nation’s winter wheat crop lacks a protective layer of snow cover and meteorologists are saying the recent deep freeze is doing some damage.

Snow cover is adequate in the northern plains and the northern Midwest. However, an Agriculture Dot Com article says the snow cover is very thin in the central and southern plains as well as the southernmost parts of the Midwest.

Donald Keeney is a senior agricultural meteorologist for Radiant Solutions who says widespread winterkill likely occurred on Monday, January first. His report says winterkill likely occurred in much of southeast Colorado and Kansas, as well as central Missouri, southern Illinois, and southwestern Indiana. “Damage occurred in about a quarter of the hard-red wheat belt in the central plains, with about five percent of the soft-red wheat belt in the Midwest seeing some impact too,” says Keeney.

Experts at Kansas State University say the winter wheat crop has the best chance of surviving a deep freeze in December, January, and early February. However, with the combination of little-to-no snow cover and brutally-cold temps, that means there likely will be at least some winterkill.

From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.