Concerns mount over freeze damage to winter wheat crops

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Concerns are mounting over freeze damage to winter wheat crops that had broken dormancy weeks before temperatures plummeted in recent days.

Agricultural meteorologist Kyle Tapley of MDA Weather Services said Monday that most of the concern steps from freezing temperatures that hit the weekend of March 19-20. He says most of the impact is likely in the western Kansas, Oklahoma and northern Texas.

Unseasonably hot temperatures in February caused the wheat to come out of dormancy weeks earlier than normal, making the crop more vulnerable to cold weather.

Clearwater farmer Scott Van Allen says the freeze damage began showing up this past week in his fields south of Wichita. He says one out of every 10 to 15 wheat heads that he examined had been frozen.

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