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Facing Frigid Temperatures, Kansas Winter Wheat Expected To Remain Strong

Montgomery County Planning Commission, flickr Creative Commons

Frigid temperatures are forecasted for much of the Midwest this week and the nation’s winter wheat crop is expected to take a hit. But as KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, the wheat in Kansas may shake the cold.

Kansas winter wheat is sowed and much of it is safely under a blanket of snow, which should keep low temperatures from damaging plants. Alan Fritz is a professor and wheat breeding specialist at Kansas State University.

“What’s really hard on the crop is when we have this change from very warm to very cold. But, the plants have had a chance to harden off and I think we’ll be OK,” Fritz says.

According to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 91 percent of Kansas winter wheat is rated as either fair, good or excellent.

Other parts of the country will not be as lucky. Crop damage is expected later this week in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.