DENVER (AP) – Dry conditions in southern Colorado are hampering winter wheat.

Heavy snow in northern Colorado has left the statewide snowpack at 132 percent of average as of Wednesday, but it was as low as 81 percent in the Upper Rio Grande River basin in southern Colorado.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service says 18 percent of the state’s winter wheat crop was rated good or excellent last week, down from 79 percent at this time last year.

Last year, the state harvested nearly 106 million bushels of winter wheat.

Darrell Hanavan of the Colorado Association of Wheat Growers says some moisture has fallen this week. But he says even if conditions are ideal from now until harvest, it’s doubtful Colorado will top its 10-year average of 67 million bushels this year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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