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Winter Wheat Looks Better, but Bugs Could Become Big Problem


WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A new report says Kansas' winter wheat crop continues to look better than last year's because of the mild winter temperatures. But in their report yesterday, state agriculture officials say the crop needs rain during the first weeks of emerging from dormancy.  Some wheat has begun joining in south-central and southeast Kansas.  Crop conditions declined slightly in the past week throughout the state. The latest ratings are 12 percent poor to very poor, 38 percent fair, 43 percent good 7 percent excellent.  At this time a year ago, the Kansas wheat crop was faring so badly that 40 percent was rated in poor to very poor condition.  Meanwhile, the mild and dry winter is giving insects a chance to survive and thrive, which could mean farmers are in for a tough spring season. Winter's cold and snow usually kills off many bugs, giving farmers a fresh start every spring. But one beekeeper in Niotaze, Kansas says he saw flies in February and bumble bees that usually don't appear until May or June. 

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