Pat Shingleton for Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune reports experts at Montana State University determined that over the past 58 years, an annual mean temperature increase during springtime has affected the performance of hard red spring wheat. Because of the warmup, spring wheat seeding is 12 days earlier than 60 years ago. In addition to the increase, wheat breeders determined temperatures are hotter later in the growing season and a late July temperature rise occurs when wheat is “filling” with starch, a critical stage in the growth process. A rapid temperature rise kills the plant. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that increasing temperatures could have a positive impact on crop yields in the early part of the century, resulting in more winter wheat grown than spring wheat. Fastcast: Staying dry.