Lack of snow in upper U.S. Midwest causing some concern among winter wheat farmers; data shows that crop 80% poor in North Dakota, 87% poor in South Dakota, 87% poor or over poor in Montana

BISMARCK, North Dakota , February 20, 2012 () – The lack of snow in the Upper Midwest is causing some concern among winter wheat farmers.

Recent Agriculture Department reports rate the protective snow cover for the winter wheat crop as 80% poor in North Dakota, 87% poor in South Dakota and 87% poor or very poor in Montana.

South Dakota Wheat Growers sales manager Ryan Schuchhardt (SHOO'-hahrt) says "my gut tells me we're in trouble."

North Dakota State University agronomist Joel Ransom says recent crop sampling hasn't turned up much damage. But he says cold snaps next month could be damaging.

Even if there's widespread damage to the region's winter wheat crop it isn't likely to impact grain markets. Upper Midwest states this season account for only about 10% of U.S. winter wheat acres.

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