National Drought Mitigation Center

National Drought Mitigation Center
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Dry weather, heat slashed Washington wheat yield by nearly 50%, barley crop smallest since 1977
10/7/2021 12:00:00 AM

Adams County, WA
Benton County, WA
Chelan County, WA
Clark County, WA
Cowlitz County, WA
Douglas County, WA
Ferry County, WA
Franklin County, WA
Kittitas County, WA
Klickitat County, WA
Lincoln County, WA
Okanogan County, WA
Pacific County, WA
Skamania County, WA
Spokane County, WA
Stevens County, WA
Wahkiakum County, WA
Walla Walla County, WA
Yakima County, WA

Start Date: 8/11/2021 - End Date: 12/31/2021
Total wheat production in Washington state plummeted nearly 50% to 87.1 million bushels, down from 166 million bushels in 2020. The yield was just 39.1 bushels per acre, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual Small Grains 2021 Summary. The lack of rain and heat really hurt the crop. Spring wheat production in 2021 was 16 million bushels, half of 33.2 million bushels produced in 2020, with yields also falling by more than half to 30 bushels per acre in 2021 from 61 bushels per acre in 2020. Winter wheat harvests and yields were almost halved, falling to 70.9 million bushels at 42 bushels per acre in 2021 from 133 million bushels at 76 bushels per acre in 2020. This was the smallest wheat harvest in 57 years, stated the program director for the Washington Grain Commission in Spokane. Washington barley growers planted about 70,000 acres of barley in 2021, compared to 90,000 acres in 2020. The harvest amounted to 2.6 million bushels at 38 bushels per acre from 6.4 million bushels at 90 bushels per acre in 2020. Recent yields in Washington state have been about 70 bushels per acre. This was the lowest barley harvest since 1977. The Seattle Times (Wash.), Oct. 6, 2021 Exceptional drought gripped 38% of Washington state. Washington’s drought has been very hard on farmers, especially in the drier eastern part of the state. Dryland farmers or those irrigating from rain-fed streams have suffered. Washington’s wheat production looks to be about 93 million bushels of wheat this year, the lowest output since 1973, according to the chief executive of the Washington Grain Commission. Last year, the state produced nearly 166 million bushels. The Seattle Times (Wash.), Sept 6, 2021 The wheat crop in Washington state is estimated at 117 million bushels, down from 165 million bushels last year. Some parts of the state experienced a complete crop failure, according to the executive director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers. About 90% of the wheat is unirrigated. The drought is being described as the worst since 1977. Some farmers are certain to be bankrupted by this drought. The soft white winter wheat grown in Oregon and Idaho has also been damaged by drought. Associated Press News (New York), Aug 11, 2021