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Winter wheat condition declines amid dry December

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- The condition of the Kansas winter wheat crop has deteriorated in the wake of December's limited rain and snow.

Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reports that 31 percent of the state's wheat crop ended 2012 in poor to very poor condition. Forty-five percent was rated in fair condition, with 23 percent in good shape and 1 percent in excellent condition.

The agency notes that only three of the 53 reporting stations around the state received more than an inch of precipitation from Dec. 1 through Dec. 30.

Range and pasture conditions declined as well, with 84 percent in poor to very poor shape. Supplies of stock water are also a problem for livestock producers. The agency said supplies are short to very short across 77 percent of Kansas.