Monday, July 20, 2015

Drought Damages Wheat in Northwestern States

This Friday, July 17, 2015 photo shows Rick Diehl chewing kernels from his winter wheat fields in East Helena, Mont. They're shriveled and undersized, but crunchy. "That's how I know they're ready," Diehl said. Drought conditions have adversely affected the quality of winter wheat in the Northwestern United States. (Photo Credit: AP/Alison Noon)  Click to Enlarge.
Intense drought conditions have shrunk the kernels and disrupted the proteins of winter wheat crops in Montana, Washington, Oregon and Idaho, the region that produces a fifth of the domestic harvest.  The National Agricultural Statistics Service has classified a large percentage of the region’s winter wheat as below-average quality.  Blake Rowe, chief of the Oregon Wheat Commission and Oregon Wheat Growers League, said a heat wave in May and June caused Oregon’s prominent soft white winter wheat to develop more protein than is desirable for baking products.  “We’ve had dry years in the past, but if anything is different this year, it’s been warmer and warmer for longer,” he said. Heat and early wheat maturation led Northwestern farmers to start harvesting about three weeks early this year.

Read original article at Drought Damages Wheat in Northwestern States

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