Wheat harvest doing better than last year - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wheat harvest doing better than last year

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PASCO, Wash. -- A wet and cold spring may have posed problems for some farmers in our area, but one crop appears to be doing better than most.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the wheat harvest is up 10% from last year. And when winter and spring season's are separated, the winter crop performed much better with 1.7 million acres.

Wheat experts say weather conditions certainly played a part in the better performance, "wheat has two phases of development, vegetative and reproductive. So vegetative stayed up until the time it flowers and immediately after flowering the wheat turns, it's sole purpose in life is to reproduce. At that flowering stage, if it gets too much heat, it will substantially reduce our yielding pollination," explains Dana Herron, commissioner with the Washington Grain Commission.

Herron adds the spring crop is at least a week behind harvest, because of severe flooding and overly wet land which delayed seed planting. But, warmer summer temps are expected to bring the crop up to speed.