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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Winter wheat crop faring well

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  • While many have grown weary of snow and cool temperatures, wheat farmers in Harvey County have enjoyed the moisture provided.
    "Subsoil moisture is in decent condition right now," said Ryan Flaming, K-State research and extension agent for Harvey County.
    And the snow cover came at just the right time providing insulation against frigid temperatures. Overall the winter wheat crop is in "decent" condition in the county.
    "With wheat, it is a tough crop," Flaming said. "There is a lot of potential with spring and summer. A lot of the yield is determined during those months."
    The latest government snapshot of the Kansas winter wheat crop statewide shows a mixed outlook after a month of cold, snowy weather.
    The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that wheat fields started to green up and show signs of growth as snow melted in February. But concerns persist about the potential for winterkill because of the season's extremely low temperatures.
    The report rated the crop's condition as 4 percent very poor and 18 percent poor. About 44 percent was rated fair, with 32 percent rated good and 2 percent rated excellent.
    Cold weather also challenged Kansas ranchers who had cows calving during February. Cattle and calf conditions were rated as 1 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 48 percent fair, 46 percent good and 2 excellent.
    Flaming said in Harvey County the concern right now is not wheat but corn. More moisture is needed prior to corn planting next month.
    "We need some moisture during corn planting season. We are a little short, but we have time to make that up. About a month away from corn seeding," Flaming said.
    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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