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Slow Start May Help 2014 Wheat Crop

Jeff Garretson - March 31, 2014 10:27 am

Early stages of the wheat plant.

Early stages of the wheat plant.

The Kansas winter wheat crop needs moisture right now.

Justin Gilpin, CEO of Kansas Wheat in Manhattan tells KSAL News that each plant is producing tillers or lateral stems that with timely moisture can mean a bumper crop, “That one wheat seed ultimately will become about eight plants,” he said.

“If we have favorable conditions more of those tillers will become plants that produce seed and grain.”

Although much of Kansas is in need of moisture, Gilpin says the slow start could still play out well, “If you walked out into a wheat field on opening day of baseball season last year – the crop would have been probably two or three weeks ahead of where it is right now,” he said.

“The fact that it’s a little bit farther behind kind of widens that window to give it a couple extra chances for rain to help develop into a good wheat crop.”

Gilpin added the harvest will be smaller than last year, as only 8.8 million acres were planted to wheat in the state of Kansas, down from 9.5 million acres in 2013.

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