Some Improvement Expected in Drought-Stricken Plains Wheat Belt

Extreme drought has been stressing the hard red winter wheat belt in the plains, particularly in central and southwestern Kansas, western Oklahoma and northwestern Texas, where precipitation has been less than 25% of normal so far this year.

Extreme swings in temperatures have also stressed the wheat crop, with temperatures reaching the mid-90s to low 100s April 12-13 and plummeting into the 10s and 20s April 14-15.

"In Garden City, KS temperatures fell from 94°F in the afternoon on April 12 to 14°F by the morning of April 15, likely resulting in some damage to the wheat crop" said Kyle Tapley, Senior Agricultural Meteorologist for Radiant Solutions.

Dry weather is expected to continue over through April 18, but a significant change is expected by the April 20 as a storm system develops across the southern plains.

"Widespread rainfall is expected across the hard red winter wheat belt on April 20 and 21, significantly improving soil moisture levels for the crop" said Mr. Tapley. The upcoming rainfall will not be enough to end the drought and additional precipitation will still be needed, but the rains on April 20 and 21 should at least stabilize winter wheat crop conditions in the western plains.

Year to Date Percent of Normal Precipitation

15 Day Precipitation Percent of Normal Forecast


To learn more about Radiant Solutions and their suite of agricultural weather products, contact Kyle Tapley.

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