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Wet wheat crop could mean trouble

Undated_The Oklahoma Department of Food, Forestry and Agriculture reports the state's wheat crop will more than double its yield of last year thanks to a wet spring, but too much water isn't necessarily a great thing.

The ideal weather for the harvest, which is happening now in parts of Southwest Oklahoma, is dry, sunny, and windy.  All three conditions help wheat mature and help speed along the harvesting process.

"We're still good," said Jackson County wheat farmer Bob Howard.  "I'm going to say we can stand a good week, maybe longer, but after that it's going to start deteriorating.  Especially if we get some more wet weather, damp cloudy days.  That's just not good on it."

A wet wheat crop can yield secondary crops among a mature one.  Farmers can't harvest wheat when it has green stalks growing among brown, golden ones.  Those green ones have too much moisture in them and too much moisture in a wheat harvest can lead to mold when it's stored.

"If we get some hot, dry weather we'll be cutting this weekend," Howard said.  "Right now, we've pretty much been in limbo for the last week."

Howard said it would take a catastrophic flood to really ruin his crop yield this year, and he adds he needs a good crop after last year's drought and a 2005 hail storm that destroyed his crop that year.

 

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