Drought Conditions Very Concerning For Northwest Wheat Growers

2021 is shaping up to be one of the driest years of recent, if not of a generation. Michelle Hennings, Executive Director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers said it is so dry already, that some are speculating this could be the worst drought reported in 100 years. Because of that, the wheat crop is suffering.

She noted that Winter Wheat growers are reporting a stressed crop with lower yields, but Spring Wheat she said is really in trouble.

“We’re not sure if anybody will get any kind of crop off of the Spring Wheat this year.  And so that’s going to be a big issue for some of the farmers that plant a lot of Spring Wheat, because there was no moisture for the plant to grow.”

Hennings noted that dryland areas that typically see between 6”-8” of precipitation a year are really struggling. She added there is concern this year’s crop may struggle with quality issues, such as Falling Numbers, High Protein ad more. Hennings said the Association will be active on the state level, trying to help producers.

“We’re going to be writing the Governor’s office and the state Department of Ecology at letter to try to get these counties designated drought so they can get some assistance.  And also on the cattle side of it, the pastures and everything are super dry as well so, there should be some emergency CRP grazing as well.”

Hennings added as they look to the sky for relief, growers are walking a tight rope. She noted with harvest starting anywhere from one to two weeks early, producers don’t want to see rain right now, but she added if they don’t see some precipitation late this summer and into the fall, this drought could impact the 2022 Winter Wheat crop.

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