Winter Wheat Ready For Spring

IOWA PARK, TX (KAUZ) - Spring like temperatures are in the forecast even though Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog said otherwise Thursday morning when he saw is shadow.

David Graf, the County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resource in Wichita County, said an early spring would being ideal temperatures for wheat crops across Texoma.

"If we could get some good warm temperatures," Graf said, "because we do have good adequate moisture, what it'll do is it will really make those roots go deeper."

Punxsutawney Phil told the Groundhog Club President there would be six more weeks of winter. If this is true Graf said the wheat should be able to handle it.

"It'll be fine," Graf said. "We've got good soil moisture now. We had a good rain a couple of weeks ago."

The weather forecast seems to disagree with the groundhog. Which is very good news for the crops that were planted later in the season.

"It'll catch up. You got to have the right kind of temperature and the right kind of spring," Graf said

The kind of spring we are on track to have. Even with the chance for a crazy swing in temperature.

"Typically it can handle that OK," Graf said.

He said wheat is tough, but those temperature swings can be hard on the livestock.

"Typically if you get about a 40 degree change from hot to cold it can start creating some respiratory issues. It's not great for the plants, but they'll bounce right back," Graf said

The groundhog said six more weeks of winter, it was cloudy in Pennsylvania, and climate forecast are suggesting spring like temperatures, but weather is tough to predict, even for a groundhog.

"The old timers say sometimes it's a good wheat year and sometimes it's not," Graf said.

As we approach spring the concern will switch to moisture. Farmers are looking for more rain and less hail.

Regardless of the temperature the actual start to spring is not until March 20.

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