May 1 to August 31 Total Precipitation: 1961 to 2000

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 Precipitation in this period provides most of the water needed for successful crop production. About 60 per cent of the variation in crop yield can be explained by the variation in May 1 to August 31 precipitation. With good growing conditions and proper management, about 100 mm of moisture is required for wheat or barley to mature enough to produce grain; then each additional 25 mm of water will produce 400 to 450 kg/ha of grain (6 to 7 bu/ac of wheat or 7.5 to 9 bu/ac of barley). Wheat and barley require at least 400 mm to reach maximum yield (Campbell et al., 1988). Since the growing season precipitation is usually well short of that amount, moisture stored in the soil from precipitation during the non-growing season becomes a vital supplement. The stored moisture is even more important when growing season precipitation is below normal.
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This document is maintained by Laura Thygesen.
This information published to the web on April 4, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on May 16, 2017.