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Panhandle’s extreme weather conditions causes wheat crops to suffer

Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 6:50 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Farmers across the Panhandle are suffering from severe wind conditions this past week.

According to Texas A&M AgriLife, existing environmental conditions have also been affecting our wheat crop supplies.

“When we are discussing our wheat crop, we do see variable impacts to last week’s wind event and it really does depend on the condition of the wheat prior to the windstorm,” said Jourdan Bell Research & Extension Agronomist for Texas A&M AgriLife.

Bell says that each crop differs in success based on the variable wheat conditions that are a result of the difference in planting time and soil moisture across the region.

“When we look at wheat that was planted in September or even early October, we see wheat that was established with good planting moisture and had better stand establishment and so that wheat was less susceptible to injury that late planted wheat,” says Bell.

Justin Benavidez, a Research & Extension Economist for Texas A&M AgriLife does not believe that the price of wheat prices will significantly rise in grocery stores due to the current inflation.

“It might have some damage for our producers locally just because of the acute impact on our region, the impact you’re going to see on the consumer side might be a little less pronounced, because we’re already in a high-priced wheat environment,” says Benavidez.

A major factor that is contributing to the overall success of wheat crops is the current drought season.

“A significant concern that we do have this year though is the drought, and we are sitting in a very severe winter drought right now and so that’s impacting our wheat,” says Bell.

According to the National Weather Service of Amarillo, by the end of today it will be 70 consecutive days without measurable precipitation, which places us in the 4th longest streak of all time.

Although our area has been in a dry season, Bell is remaining optimistic that the drought streak will end in 2022.

“Ultimately, we are hoping that we have timely spring rains and that could help rebound this wheat crop,” says Bell.

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