Rain and snow brought much-needed moisture to western Kansas’ winter wheat crop

Agriculture

FORD COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – A much-anticipated wet weather system brought moisture to western Kansas’ struggling wheat crop.

It came at just the right time for wheat farmers in the area. The moisture did more than just settle the dust, but it may have helped save next year’s wheat crop. 

“It’s absolutely gonna be a savior to that crop,” said Greg Ruehle, President and CEO of ServiTech.

Areas of western Kansas caught substantial precipitation.

“We’re certainly thankful for the moisture that came this week, to give us a shot at putting this crop in the best position we can as winter approaches, said Ruehle.

In places that caught more rain, roots will be able to set in the ground and prepare the plant for winter.

Wheat seeds that haven’t sprouted yet, will now have a chance to catch up with other areas of the field where a stand is more established.

“It’s amazing how quickly that seed can germinate and grow and catch up to its neighbors,” said Ruehle.

As for grain production, the wheat head will have a better opportunity of filling come spring. 

“To become more uniform as a crop in the field lends itself to supporting a better grain fill and a higher yield next spring,” he said.

Another benefit of the moisture is it will keep the soil from blowing, protecting the crop, and holding vital nutrients in the ground.

Agronomists say the rain will help salvage many fields and make up for some damage caused by the drought.

“We’re thankful. We’ll never pass on moisture in southwest Kansas in any amount or in any form. But we still have areas that are still gonna have some more work to do to get caught up,” he said.

But they also stress it is too early to tell if the severe dry spell the crops experienced will impact yields, and although this rain has helped, more is needed.

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