West U.S. Plains wheat stays starved for moisture

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article


The chief bread-making wheat grown in the western U.S. Plains states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and Nebraska is expected to continue struggling through the worst drought in over 50 years into early February and perhaps longer, an agricultural meteorologist said on Thursday.

Dry weather is expected to persist in the western U.S. Plains hard red winter wheat region and a cold snap late this week isn't likely to harm any of the winter wheat crop, said Andy Karst, meteorologist for World Weather Inc.

"There's not much rain or snow for hard red winter wheat country for the next week to 10 days," Karst said.

Winter wheat conditions across the Plains worsened in January as the drought in that key production region showed no signs of ending, according to reports by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) issued on Monday.

Without rain or heavy snow before spring, millions of acres of wheat could be ruined, while corn and soybean seedings could be threatened in the western Midwest, meteorologists and other crop experts have said.

A climatology report issued last Thursday said there were no signs of improvement for Kansas or neighboring farm states.

Roughly 57.64 percent of the contiguous United States was in at least "moderate" drought as of Jan. 22, an improvement from 58.87 percent a week earlier, according to last Thursday's Drought Monitor report by a consortium of federal and state climatology experts.

An updated drought report is expected to be released late on Thursday.

Temperatures Plunge Again; River Water Level Rises

Wild swings in temperatures have been occurring over the past two weeks in America's heartland and another blast of Arctic air currently is moving into the crop-growing regions.

Karst said the coldest weather late this week would be in the northern Plains states of North Dakota and Minnesota with lows of 20 to 30 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) in the Red River Valley. Lows in the single digits are expected elsewhere, but "there shouldn't be any winterkill damage," he said.

Karst said rainfall in the Midwest this week boosted water levels on the Mississippi River, the main water shipping route for commodities in the United States.

The drought and lack of rainfall and/or snow melt over the winter had dropped river water levels to a point that led to restricted barge loadings and movement on the river.

"There should be no new restrictions for the next two weeks, this is the best the river has looked for a long time," he said.

However, more than 1,000 barges were backed up on the river on Wednesday after a weekend barge accident and oil spill forced closure of the river, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

There were no estimates when the oil spill would be cleared to allow normal transport of grain, oil and other commodities down the Mississippi.


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Harvest Map Processing™

Features & Options: Farmers harvest fields but they often don’t harvest the data. GEOSYS offers Harvest Map Processing™ as a ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form