Home > News > Northern Plains Drought Fuels Spring Wheat Questions

Though Wednesday’s USDA Prospective Plantings report will shine a spotlight on estimates for this year’s U.S. corn and soybean crops, there are signs that continued drought in the northern Plains could potentially curtail the region’s spring wheat crop. As of last week, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed the entire states of North and South Dakota and much of Montana are under some level of drought, and it’s growing in severity, with 17% of the former state experiencing “extreme” drought. The conditions have been a blessing and a curse, say some farmers; since last fall, they’ve enabled farmers to get fieldwork done in preparation for this year’s crops. But the moisture shortfall — some farmers saying they’ve had less than half their annual precipitation in the last year — could cut spring wheat acres or cause plantings to shift to other crops that can generate revenue, thrive with less moisture and help better sustain what soil moisture that remains intact. Just like with flex acres for corn and soybean producers, farmers spring wheat farmers still have time to make planting decisions, and Mother Nature’s throwing a lot of questions into the process. See more.

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