Hard red winter wheat crop receives disaster declaration
The Jan. 8 report from the Climate Data Center indicated the new wheat crop tried to germinate and grow in the 27th driest October through December in the 117 year history of weather records. “For the smaller Primary Hard Red Winter Wheat belt, November 2012 ranked 23rd driest and October-December tenth driest. By year's end, January-December 2012 ranked as the ninth driest year on record for the Winter Wheat belt and third driest for the Primary Hard Red Winter Wheat belt.
“Record dryness occurred for several states in August and September. The persistence of drought gave several states record dry seasons, including Arkansas (April-June and other seasons), Kansas (May-July), Nebraska (June-August and other seasons), and South Dakota (July-September). Six states in the Plains and Midwest (Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska) ranked in the top ten driest category for January-November, with Nebraska having the driest January-November on record. For January-December 2012, five Great Plains and Midwest states ranked in the top ten driest category, including Nebraska which had the driest year on record.
“Nearly all of the Northern Plains was enveloped in drought by October, which is a record in the 13-year US Drought Monitor history. Drought coverage also rapidly increased in the Midwest, peaking at about 73.7 percent in July, which is also a USDM record. In early 2012, the Southern Plains was recovering from the 2011 drought. The percent area in moderate to exceptional drought decreased to a low of about 32.3 percent in May 2012 before expanding again to peak at about 73.7 percent in July.”
The hard red winter wheat crop started out with difficulty and weather conditions have not improved. The USDA has declared much of the HRW growing region as the first disaster area of 2013, offering low interest loans and other programs to wheat growers in the Central and Southern Plains.
Source: FarmGate blog