- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) - While the weather in Weld County has caused some wheat fields to suffer this year, Colorado’s overall wheat yield is expected to even out to at least average.

Weld producers are just getting into their wheat fields and say the Mother’s Day frost, wheat rust and heavy May and June rain have damaged their crops, The Greeley Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1fIVfYg). Producers from the southern part of the state, however, have already finished harvesting and are reporting great yields.

“It’s all over the map,” said Keith DeVoe, CEO of Roggen Farmers Elevator Association. RFEA buys wheat from local producers to make flour and other grain products.

“We’ve got fields around 75 (bushels) and fields around 15.”

Roggen farmer Jerry Cooksey of Cooksey Farms in southeastern Weld also reports a mixed bag. Between the frost and rust, Cooksey said he’s seeing between 30 percent and 60 percent damage.

“There’s a lot of variability this year,” he said. “Some of it has to do with luck and some of it has to do with how the crop was managed.”

The late freeze hit the more mature crops particularly hard, Cooksey said. He said the timing of planting and spraying for wheat rust affected what came out of the field in July.

“Luck and timing, I would say,” Cooksey said. “There’s not many years that we have a frost on the 10th of May. That’s just bad luck there.”

He said the 2.25 million acre harvest is expected to bring about $500 million into Colorado’s economy this year. Weld County producers planted about 130,000 acres.

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Information from: The Tribune of Greeley, Co, http://greeleytribune.com

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