Severe drought devastates Washington state’s wheat crop

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ROCKFORD, Wash. (AP) — A drought in eastern Washington state that is the worst since 1977 has devastated what is normally the fourth largest U.S. wheat crop. The soft white winter wheat grown in the region is prized in Asian countries because it is excellent for making pastries, cakes, cookies and noodles. About 10 percent of Washington’s wheat comes from irrigated land and the rest is fed by rain, which has been rare this year. Officials estimate this year’s crop will produce 117 million bushels, down from last year’s 165 million bushels. Many Washington farmers have crop insurance that covers up to 80% of losses. But some do not and could go bankrupt.

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