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Archive for Friday, February 18, 2011

Extreme temperature swings fuel fears for Kansas wheat

February 18, 2011

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— Dramatic temperature fluctuations are raising fears for the winter wheat crop in Kansas as it breaks dormancy too early.

Bill Spiegel of the industry group Kansas Wheat says temperature swings of 80 degrees over the past week are causing some wheat to green up now, using soil moisture and fertilizer. He says it is too early for that because temperatures could drop just as quickly again.

Wheat that has broken dormancy is more vulnerable if freezing temperatures suddenly return.

Sharon Springs grower David Schemm says some fields that never sprouted last fall because of drought are now germinating. He also worries there's not enough soil moisture to sustain his best fields if it doesn't rain within 10 to 15 days after the wheat breaks dormancy.

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