Across the country, wheat crops are suffering due to different types of weather. Dry conditions at planting time and recent blankets of snow are leaving farmers a little anxious about the current crop.
In north-central Illinois, a farmer reports this crop went in better than the last few years. “Albeit, it was dry, much drier. Almost too dry,” he says. “Those that worked the ground were a little nervous until we got a good rain in early November. The no-till wheat mostly came up even, just maybe a little longer to germinate!”
A farmer from Blanchester, Ohio, says he has never seen wheat planted dry. “The soil was like sand. Got a little shower and some of it came up then we got an inch, our first since July and it pretty much all came up,” he says.
The dry weather stretched through several parts of the Midwest. In Lane County, Kan., a farmer says, it's dry in western Kansas as well as the rest of the central and southern plains. “I'd say 80% of our wheat is fair to poor,” reports the farmer. “No-till stands are a disaster. They look like NASA photos of lunar surface.”
Yet, in northeast North Dakota, the opposite problem prevailed. “Not a great deal of winter wheat seeded, in my estimation,” a farmer report. “The whole state is fairly wet.”
Blankets of Snow
Many farmers were relieved to see winter dust and cover their wheat fields.
“Here in North Central Illinois, winter came with vengeance,” a farmer reports. “We received about 8 inches of snow Dec. 4. In my mind it was a perfect snow. The ground was not frozen, and the snow was a perfect insulation blanket on the wheat.”
In Lewistown, Mont., a farmer says it is shaping to be a tough winter. “It is hard to say how the winter wheat is doing. The no tilled ground is definitely holding snow better than the ground that was mechanically worked.”
The snow is also providing that needed moisture for a farmer in Wilbur, Wash. “Our winter wheat has been under a blanket of snow since mid-November,” he reports. “We had a subzero event but had some snow cover, and the fall rains had the plant well hydrated so damage isn't expected. Speaking of rains, we have had over 3" since the middle of October! We have a full profile of moisture.”
What about you?