"If there is an arctic cold outbreak with below-zero temperatures, that could cause big problems for winter wheat, which is planted in the fall and goes dormant in the winter. Subzero cold could cause stunted growth and reduce the production for this year's wheat crop," according to Expert Senior Agricultural Meteorologist Dale Mohler.
AccuWeather.com meteorologists believe that a change in the winter pattern is on the horizon, and more cold waves might penetrate the U.S.
Snowcover actually acts to insulate winter wheat from arctic cold snaps, keeping the soil temperature closer to freezing rather than subzero.
Mohler said the lack of storms and mild weather are the factors that have left winter wheat vulnerable.
Most of the other crops of the Midwest should not be damaged by the lack of snowcover. However, many crops in this region rely on moisture from melting snow during the spring. If there is a snow deficit in the winter followed by a dry spring, that would be bad news for other crops as well.
From AccuWeather.com (find the original story here); reprinted with permission.