DENVER (AP) -- Colorado winter wheat farmers are cheering an estimated record average yield this year, along with prices boosted by a drought that is limiting Russian wheat exports.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday forecast a Colorado harvest this year of 103.5 million bushels. That's the largest Colorado crop since 1985, before farmers started entering a federal program encouraging them to take some land out of production.

The USDA says the estimated yield this year of about 45 bushels per acre tops the previous record of 43 bushels per acre set in 1999.

Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee Executive Director Darrell Hanavan says depending on price fluctuations, the Colorado crop could be worth $562 million.

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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