MANHATTAN, Kan. - Rain and snow events the last two weeks of December have put the 2012 Kansas wheat crop in good shape, according to an informal survey of farmers throughout the state. And if projections hold true, there will be more acres of wheat to harvest in 2012 than in the last two years.

Informa Economics, a food and agriculture research consultancy based in Memphis, estimates 2011-12 winter wheat plantings in Kansas to total 9 million acres, up from 8.8 million acres in 2010-11 and 8.4 million acres the year before. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will release its figures in March.

Wheat crop condition is rated by the Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service at 50% good to excellent, a dramatic improvement over the crop's condition at the same time in 2010. Throughout Kansas, rain and snow events have helped lessen the impact of long-term drought in central and western Kansas. And although weather conditions can worsen between now and harvest, for now, farmers are heading into the New Year optimistic about the 2012 harvest prospects.