Fri June 3, 2011

Spring Rain Leads to Dramatic Improvement for Colorado's Winter Wheat Crop

Agriculture officials say Colorado’s winter wheat crop is improving.  For the first time this spring, about two-thirds of the winter wheat crop is rated in fair to good condition, according to the latest Colorado Crop Progress report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But the picture was very different in early April.  Before a series of soaking rain storms, 57% of the crop was in very poor or poor condition.

“The determining factor in the size of the crop in the last ten years has been whether we’ve gotten rain in April and May,” says Darrell Hanavan, Executive Director of Colorado Wheat.“There have been a number of years when we didn’t receive rain until June. So the timing of this was very beneficial.”

The USDA estimates Colorado’s crop this year will yield roughly 64 million bushels – which is close to the ten-year average harvest.  Hanavan adds that prices are also expected to hit record highs of $7.50 per bushel this year, compared with $5.60 last year, and the all-time record high of $6.47.