Hard Winter Wheat Tour Completed
Summary by Ben Handcock
Fifteen cars and 54 participants surveyed
the potential of the Kansas wheat crop the week of April 29 - May 2,
2002. The total number of field stops was 483.
Crop scouts received a brief training and
tour overview session April 29 in Manhattan, KS. On April 30, the
fifteen cars traveled on six different routes and arrived that evening
in Colby, KS. The scouts reported almost no disease problems, but
reported a real variable crop yieldwise. Yields ranged from ten to
sixty-eight bushels with a day one average of 37.4 bushels per acre.
Day two saw cars going from Colby to
Wichita, KS. Again, disease was almost nonexistent, but yields were all
over the board. They ranged from 0 to 67 bushels with a day two average
of 31.3 bushels per acre.
Day three concluded the tour with a final
survey of fields from Wichita to Kansas City. These fields had an
average of 47.3 bushels per acre. Due to weighted averages, this smaller
production area does not have a huge influence on statewide statistics.
Again, lack of disease pressure was clearly evident.
The results of each day plus the
three-day composite can be seen in the accompanying tables. Last years
results are noted for comparison.
Our calculated formula result for the
entire trip was 35.6 bushels per acre versus 32.7 bushels on the same
routes last year. Forty-eight tour participants estimated the total
production for Kansas at an average of 297.1 million bushels. This
compares with our estimate of 277.6 million bushels last year. The
Kansas Ag Statistics Service will reveal the actual Kansas production
figures later in the year. On May 10, 2002, the Kansas Ag Statistics
estimated total production at 296.0 million bushels.
Scouts from Nebraska, Colorado and
Oklahoma also gave the group results of their own state mini-tours.
Nebraska pegged its crop at 45 bushels verses 32 in 2001. Colorado
estimated yields of 28.8, the as in 2001. Oklahoma's tour resulted in an
estimated total crop 104 million bushels compared to last year's
estimate of 87.2 million bushels.
The keys to the 2002 crop are moisture
and the number of acres of abandonment. Severe moisture stresses were
noted in each state. It looked as if the number of acres of abandonment
could be higher than normal, but it is too dry in Western areas to
replant to some other crop. Much of this poorer crop may just be left
until harvest to see if it is worth harvesting.