Effect of the recent winter storm on the Kansas wheat and alfalfa crops

Posted January 23, 2017

The week of January 10 – 16 brought to the Kansas wheat crop some much needed moisture, which was accompanied by a considerable amount of ice -- especially in the southwest portion of the state. Precipitation totals ranged from about 0.25 inch in far northwest Kansas, to just over 3 inches throughout the southern two tiers of counties (Fig. 1). The majority of the state received more than 0.5 inches of precipitation.

Figure 1. Cumulative precipitation for the period encompassing Jan. 10 – 16, 2017.

In addition to this precipitation, the western fifth of the state also got as much as 2.3 inches of snow (Fig. 2). This protects the crop from extreme cold temperatures, although it may not bring much moisture to the wheat crop. Usually, one foot of snowfall brings about 1 inch of moisture; thus, 2 inches might bring approximately 0.15” moisture if the snow persists in the field.

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