9:47am

Wed May 11, 2011
Agriculture

USDA Predicts 39% Decline in Colorado’s 2011 Winter Wheat Crop

The first forecast of Colorado’s winter wheat production this year estimates a steep decline in crops this year. But nationwide the decrease is expected to be less severe.

Across America, the U.S. Department of Agriculture expects a 4% decline compared to last year. But in Colorado, the decrease in this year’s crop is predicted at 39%. That’s because dry conditions during much of March and April have hindered growth for crops in the eastern part of the state—where most crops are produced.

“We’re counting on Front Range rains to help this crop survive and produce something,”  says Keith DeVoe, general manager of the Roggen Farmers Elevator Association, a grain storage co-op in Eastern Colorado. “[In] no way can it be anyway near last year’s record crop.”

DeVoe is referring to almost perfect conditions last year, which produced an all-time high number of bushels in the state.

In addition to Colorado’s decline, the USDA is predicting a similar situation for Oklahoma farmers, and even worse for those in Texas. The state is expected to see a 63 percent decrease in production.

While winter wheat production is expected to decline nationwide, the USDA says corn producers are poised for an all-time high due to an increase in plantings.