Kansas Wheat Condition Update

The snow cover we received over the past week in Kansas was definitely welcome, but the wheat crop isn’t out of the woods yet. Top soil moisture remains lacking, and most areas throughout the state would like to see moisture in the form of wet snow or rain. Most could probably agree that temperatures above freezing would be helpful too.

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Brian Linin, from Sherman County, reports: Over the past 2-3 weeks, we have received a total of approximately 6-8” of what I would call dry, blowing snow. We have had 1 or 2 small snow storms even on the level, but most have had an accompanying wind which tends to drift the snow and not provide even coverage. We still desperately need moisture for the wheat crop.

Eric Sperber, from Thomas County, reports: Good fall moisture allowed for good initial plant development.  However, since November we have been extremely dry, and several days of high winds have made the situation worse. We have had several small snow events, but very little moisture. We will need some good moisture events prior to crop breaking dormancy.

Richard Kvasnicka, from Logan County, reports: We received 4-5″ on Tuesday, February 4. It was a light, fluffy snow. The fields just barely had any on them. Some of the now was pretty dirty in the ditches. Saturday, February 8, it got up to 40+ temperatures and melted all the snow we had. On Sunday, February 9, we had another light snow which amounted to about 2-3″.

Rich Randall, from Scott County, reports: We received four inches of dry snow. It is cold, cold, cold. I don’t know if wheat is okay or not…..it has been frozen for a month.

Ron Suppes, from Lane County, reports: We received 4 to 5 inches of snow, it was very light and did blow off the north side of tilled wheat fields. Surface moisture is limited, and sub-soil moisture is still better than last year. There has been some ground chiseled due to blowing dust.

Mike Jordan, from Mitchell County, reports: We had 3 inches of snow southwest of Beloit, much of which blew off the fields. The wheat leaves have burned down to ground level, but there is some life still in most of the plants.

Justin Knopf, from Saline County, reports: We received about 12″ total of snow. However, the snow was fairly dry and much of it blew off the fields over the weekend. It did leave enough on the fields to provide some insulation from the cold temps, though, which is positive. Overall, the wheat condition is somewhat hard to assess at the moment. There is some limited surface soil moisture. Root development is highly variable, and there are certainly fields with poor stands moving towards spring.

Ken Wood reports: Here in Dickinson County, we received about a foot of snow on top of a couple of inches from last weekend. Prior to the snow, our wheat looked pretty poor. We will just have to wait until later in the spring to see if it actually starts to grow.

Paul Penner, from Marion County, reports: We received between 10 to 12+ inches of snow in our area, depending on location. It was very light, fluffy snow, perhaps containing a little more than 1/2 inch of moisture. The winds did pick up somewhat afterwards, and drifting did occur. Our soil moisture is very short in the top 6 inches. The snow will help the wheat survive the cold temperatures and wind.

Scott Van Allen reports: The wheat in Sumner County finally received some beneficial snow cover Tuesday (2/4/14). We received about 6 inches on the level until the winds blew in on Wednesday. I have heard of some late planted wheat that might be in trouble from the cold weather, but haven’t seen it myself. I am ready for spring! Update: Van Allen reports that they received another five inches of snow Sunday night and Monday (2/9-10). They were glad to get the moisture, but getting really tired of the cold. On the upside, he reports that this cold weather will likely help lower the threat of disease and insect damage this spring.

Jay Armstrong, from Atchison County, reports: Wheat that was planted at the normal time was up and looked good throughout the winter. There was some leaf burn from cold winds, but it still had a good green center. This snow, while hard to live in, was just what the doctor ordered. We got 10” of snow that only had minimal drifting. I would classify our wheat excellent for what is planted, but planting is down because of the late fall harvest.

Would you like to share the condition of the wheat crop in your area? Please send me an email at mboswell@kswheat.com or leave a comment below.

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