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Wheat turning color in Kansas as harvest nears

Published on -5/15/2012, 6:40 AM

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Winter wheat fields across Kansas are turning color, in still another sign that this year's harvest will be especially early.

The Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that half the fields in south-central and southeastern Kansas have already turned color as the wheat continues to ripen three weeks ahead of normal.

Statewide, about 26 percent of wheat fields have turned color.

But the crop's condition continues to decline, due largely to a shortage of rain in many of the state's major wheat-growing areas.

The agency says that 16 percent of the Kansas crop is in poor to very poor condition. About 32 percent is rated as fair, with 41 percent rated in good shape and 11 percent in excellent condition.

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