Too Little Rain, Too Much Cold

Kansas Viewpoint

Western Kansas wheat crop is in serious trouble from dry weather, bitter cold

Published on: February 6, 2011
Hard red winter wheat is a resilient crop and has been know to come back from pretty dire circumstances.

So don't write it off quite yet.

But the crop in western Kansas is in big trouble as the heavy snows that brought badly needed moisture to the rest of the state pretty much missed the western third, maybe even the western half.

Randy Hayzlett, who farms in southwest Kansas, says his area has had only minimal precipitation since early September and thousands of acres of wheat did not come up last fall.

In the northwest part of the state, a few spotty, scattered showers in the fall means there are some fields that came up and some that did not.

But while the snow missed the region, the bitter, sub-zero cold that followed it did not, leaving the dry crop exposed to deep cold.

Farmers tell me there's no question that there's damage; the only question is how much.