Farmers in southwest Kansas may face a blow to wheat crop

Wheat Crop (KSN File Photo)

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Some wheat crops may have been damaged by recent frost.

“Well, this year’s wheat crop across the state is about five days ahead of its regular maturity,” said John Jenkinson, KSN agriculture expert. “This recent frost event that we had last weekend had a detrimental effect on the wheat that was already quite a ways along.”

Because of the unusually warm winter, wheat came out of dormancy in February. Temperatures dropped below freezing last weekend in some parts of southwest Kansas.

“Where the, the actual grain was already starting to emerge from the plant, that would have gotten damaged by the frost, and so we could see anywhere from a five to ten, maybe even fifteen percent detriment yield in those counties,” said Jenkinson.

Falling grain prices have hurt farmers’ wallets for years now. Losing 15 percent of their yield will just add insult to injury.

“There is some crop insurance that will cover some of the loss, but it won’t make up all of the expense into the crop already,” noted Jenkinson. He also said the agriculture industry will have a better estimate of the damage in about a week when the wheat quality tour passes through southwest Kansas.

“Then, we’ll be able to cut the plant open and really look inside and tell just how much of the crop was damaged,” he said.

Wheat in Garden City isn’t as far along and the temperature wasn’t too low, but Jenkinson says farmers south of Dodge City might have reason to worry.

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