Weather Concerns Continue for the Wheat Belt

Dry and cold weather in the Plains states could spell trouble for wheat crop.

Published on: Jan 27, 2011

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says snow cover is eroding in many parts of the High Plains from Montana into Texas.

"So if you make that short trip across the plains say from eastern Colorado into northeastern Kansas, you are going to find a very brown environment in the western areas," Rippey said. "As you head into northeastern Kansas there is still quite a bit of snow, as much as a half a foot on the ground."

The western and southwestern hard red wheat belt remains under significant drought stress and weather extremes.

"The producers in that region have been fairly fortunate this winter in that conditions have not been that extreme," Rippey says. "We've seen some highs and lows on the temperatures and a little bit of wind at times."

However current wheat condition reports show almost half of Texas winter wheat rated in poor to very poor condition. Rippey says the growing strength of La Nina's does not favor a significant amount of moisture of the southwestern wheat belt between now and spring.