While Northwest wheat growers aren't worried just yet about the relatively dry winter season, they say more rain will need to come in order for the crop to survive the hot summer months.
And the relative lack of precipitation is preventing Northwest farmers from switching to alternative crops like their Midwest peers.
The low wheat prices have motivated many farmers in the Midwest and elsewhere in the West to plant corn or soybeans instead, but in the Pacific Northwest where the lion’s share of soft white wheat grows, limited precipitation precludes that option unless irrigation water is available.
Wheat production is down 23 percent nationwide, said U.S. Wheat Associates market analyst Chad Weigand, who pegs this year’s winter wheat plantings at 37 million acres and spring wheat at 15.5 million acres.
Read the full story at The Register-Guard.