Winter wheat is coming up better than anticipated with continued dry conditions according to the latest USDA Crop Progress Report.
But forecasters are watching with some concern parts of the region where ongoing drought combined with very cold temperatures may spell trouble for winter wheat development.
Rippey: “There may be concerns for winter wheat because we’re dealing with some issues there. A lot of the crop has been planted and is trying to emerge. Particularly in parts of the High Plains and even in parts of the lower Midwest, it has been a very dry late summer and autumn to this point. And with topsoil moisture very short we are seeing some problems with emergence and proper establishment of the winter wheat crop. Now the cold weather coming in could add another layer of difficulty to getting that crop established as temperatures drop into the teens and ’20s, It makes it less likely that we’ll get good solid establishment. And then combine that with the drought and we’ve got a bit of a problem for some of the winter wheat crop heading into the dormancy period.”
USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says they are watching increasing cold in much of the nation's mid-section.
The latest Crop progress report indicates that Colorado producers have nearly completed the seeding of winter wheat.
Harvest of most spring crops was ahead of average. In northeastern counties, corn for grain harvest progressed although moisture content was still high in several areas. Corn silage harvest was virtually complete and sugarbeet harvest continued.
A county report noted sugarbeet yields were around average or slightly below.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report for Colorado showed extreme drought (D3) expanded throughout the district.