Ag Blogs -
Thursday, 07 May 2009 14:36
The second day of the Wheat Quality Council's Hard Winter Wheat Tour once again pointed to a less than fabulous crop this year with yield estimates coming in slightly under last year.
Yield calculations averaged 39.8 bu/acre for the second day of the tour, down from 40.9 bu/acre last year. Crop scouts left Colby early Wednesday morning and convened in Wichita later that evening, taking samples from 212 fields in Kansas and Oklahoma along the way.
Disease, fungus and insect pressure was considered moderate, and light to moderate hail damage was noted in counties across Southwest Kansas.
On the whole, there just isn't really anything impressive about this year's crop, even with the absence of any major disease, fungus or insect problems.
The western portion of the state that we surveyed Wednesday seemed a little bit better off - thanks mostly to the soaking rains that have fallen in the last week. But if you listen in on conversations on the tour, crop scouts agree: This year's crop has more down-side potential than it does up-side. The stalks are short and the stands are relatively thin.
Losing the cool temperatures and drenching rains to hot, dry conditions can easily send this mediocre crop south.
On the otherhand, at least we're not as bad off as Oklahoma whose crop is figured at 77.4 million bushels - a fraction of the 167.5 million bushel crop they brought in last year. Mike Schulte, executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, says abandonment this year will soar to 35% because of the April freeze and drought stress. Farmers there are already spraying it with Round-up to put it out of its misery.
Thursday afternoon, we arrive at the Kansas City Board of Trade where the tour will estimate the size of this year's Kansas wheat crop. The crop estimate will be announced between 2pm and 3pm CT.