New Year’s Day cold snap to hit U.S. winter wheat, rivers

30 Dec 2017   Climate, USA

A New Year’s Day cold snap in the southern U.S. Plains poses a threat to winter wheat, particularly in Kansas, the country’s biggest producer of the grain, agricultural meteorologists said. Farmers in Kansas grow hard red winter (HRW) wheat, the largest U.S. wheat class that typically is milled into flour for bread. The impact of any crop loss could be magnified because supplies of high-protein HRW wheat already are scarce due to low protein levels in the last two harvests. Also, the U.S. Department of Agriculture in January is expected to show American farmers planted even less winter wheat than a year ago, when acreage fell to the lowest since 1909. “I think the eastern three-quarters of Kansas is at risk for some winterkill,” said David Streit, a meteorologist with the Commodity Weather Group. Winter wheat is most resistant to winterkill in December and January. However, […]

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