Extreme weather swings worry livestock producers

In this May 1, 2013, photo Kansas farmer Ben McClure, a farmer from Hugoton, Kan., examines a wheat stalk in a Reno County wheat field. The Agriculture Department Friday, May 10, 2013, forecast U.S. farmers will harvest a far smaller winter wheat crop this season than a year ago, particularly for the hard red varieties used to bake bread. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Travis Heying)
In this May 1, 2013, photo Kansas farmer Ben McClure, a farmer from Hugoton, Kan., examines a wheat stalk in a Reno County wheat field. The Agriculture Department Friday, May 10, 2013, forecast U.S. farmers will harvest a far smaller winter wheat crop this season than a year ago, particularly for the hard red varieties used to bake bread. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Travis Heying)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – The National Agricultural Statistics Service says declining stock water supplies and extreme weather swings were the biggest concerns for Kansas livestock producers last month.

In its monthly wintertime update, the agency reported Monday that cattle and calf losses were 13 percent below normal, 85 percent normal and 2 percent above normal in January.

The report also said most of Kansas received less than half the normal amount of precipitation last month.

About 20 percent of the winter wheat was rated in poor to very poor condition, with 45 percent rated fair, 33 percent rated good and 2 percent rated excellent.

The report says Kansas farmers in areas with little to no snow cover last month were concerned with winterkill on their wheat crop.

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