Map: Plenty of US Winter Wheat at Risk from Cold Blast

It remains to be seen how US winter wheat crops may have ultimately been impacted by recent frigid weather but it appears plenty of the crop may have been at risk.

As the map below shows, temperatures got down as low as -24 degrees F (-31 degrees C) in parts of the No. 1 winter wheat production state of Kansas. Meanwhile, as depicted on the left, protective snow cover across the state – although widespread - was minimal in terms of depth. Temperatures were even colder farther north in the more minor winter wheat areas of the northern Plains.

Wintry weather began to arrive on Feb. 13 across the south-central US — with snow, sleet, and freezing rain falling Feb 14-15. Weekly temperatures averaged 20 to 30 F below normal throughout the northern and central Plains and upper Midwest, with readings averaging 30 to 45 F below normal on the northern High Plains.

Where winter wheat fields lacked a protective snow—an area encompassing northeastern Montana and parts of the western Dakotas—the extreme cold increased the threat of winterkill. Meanwhile, unprotected wheat on the central and southern Plains received varying amounts of snow starting on Feb. 13, prior to the coldest weather, but the amounts mostly ranged from just a trace to 1 inch. On Feb. 15-16, the full force of the Arctic outbreak reached deep into the south, including into Texas.

US winter wheat areas; temperatures​​​​​​​

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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