2012 Hard Red Winter Wheat Tour — Day 2


by Katie Micik

WICHITA, Kan. (DTN) — Scouts on the second day of the Wheat Quality Council’s hard red winter wheat tour estimated the crop at 43.7 bushels per acre, compared to 33.4 bpa last year. The Oklahoma Wheat Commission also released their crop estimates, putting the average yield in Oklahoma at 39.6 bpa.

“I think that just me driving across the state, I’m predicting 155 million bushels,” said Mike Schulte, director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. “Things look to be really favorable. But all in all, I know a lot can happen in three weeks.” Oklahoma’s tour predicted the state’s crop at 164.5 mb, compared to the five-year average production of 110 mb.

In Kansas, the running average for the first two days of the tour came in at 48.5 bpa. The first day average was 53.6 bpa. The most comparable year, yield-wise, is 2005, when the first day average was 48.9 bpa, the second day average was 44.2 bpa and the two-day running average was 46.5 bpa.

Crop scouts saw wheat that was short on moisture, primarily from Garden City, Kan., to Medicine Lodge, Kan. A rain is desperately needed in those parts of the state.

“Overall, the tour wasn’t expecting to see how poor conditions were in southwest Kansas, especially coming off yesterday,” said Justin Gilpin, executive director of the Kansas Wheat Commission.

Scouts on a leg of the tour that drove south from Colby before turning east at Sublette saw wheat that was very dry compared to other parts of the state. It was not as bad as 2011 when some scouts has field estimates of 0 bpa. The lowest estimate on that route was 19 bpa and the highest was 65.2 bpa, with an average of 41.1 bpa. Last year, the route average was 32.6 bpa because of the severe drought stress that affected much of the crop’s germination and development.

“The big difference between this year’s and last year’s tours has been the rains,” Gilpin said. Last year, much of southwest Kansas lacked moisture when the wheat was germinating, leading to uneven stands. This year, the crop had enough moisture to germinate but the wheat is now in its most water-needy phase. Gilpin noted that drought stress wasn’t as widespread as last year, but “you could argue the severity for that year could be worse.”

There seems to be a line from Hoisington to Great Bend to Medicine Lodge dividing where rain fell, scouts observed. To the east and north, the wheat had plenty. To the west and south, it didn’t have enough.

“You can tell areas that got timely rains and benefitted from being ahead in maturity,” Gilpin said. “And I think the Oklahoma numbers reflect that.”

Schulte told the group that lodging had become a problem in some fields in central and north central Oklahoma because the wheat is tall and the grain is heavy. Some Oklahoma wheat will be cut for hay, but Schulte said it’s one of the best crops the state has had in years.

But aside from some slight disease pressure from stripe rust and barley yellow dwarf, most of the crop in Logan and Scott counties and east of Medicine Lodge looked above average. Kansas State Agronomist Jim Shroyer said the central corridor of Kansas has pretty good looking wheat, as long as they sprayed fungicide to treat stripe rust.

“If the rain comes, timely rains, this could be a nice crop,” said Dan Maltby, a consultant based in Minnesota.

You can follow the crop tour on Twitter by following @KatieMDTN and the hashtag #wheattour12.


© Copyright 2012 DTN/The Progressive Farmer, A Telvent Brand. All rights reserved.

Posted with DTN Permission by Haylie Shipp


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