Wind mill against a blue sky on a farm in TexasPowerful wind gusts have plagued farmers and ranchers this spring, but are they more of a nuisance this year than in the past? High winds have caused multiple wildfires and other disasters across U.S. farm country, particularly along the Southern Plains. According to USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey, wind data shows windier-than-normal conditions throughout the middle U.S.

A specific example is the average wind speed through April 24th for the Dallas-Ft. Worth area was 15.9 mph, higher than the average 12.2 mph. Meanwhile, 70 mph winds have been especially detrimental to what was left of the winter wheat crop in the Texas panhandle. Intensifying drought means high winds are all the more damaging, leading to blowing dust, fast-spreading fires and more deterioration of wheat and pasture lands.

Read more on high winds impacting agriculture here.