Hard Winter Wheat Tour Completed
Thirteen cars with 52 participants surveyed the potential of the Kansas Wheat Crop the week of April 28-May 1, 2003. The total number of field stops was 416.
Crop scouts received a brief training and tour overview session April 28 in Manhattan, KS. On April 29, the thirteen cars traveled on six different routes and arrived that evening in Colby, KS. The scouts reported very little disease pressure, but a variable crop yieldwise. Yields ranged from a low of 19 bushels to a high of 63 bushels with a day one average of 38.6 bushels per acre.
Day two saw cars going from Colby to Wichita, KS. Again, disease was not a problem, but drought in some areas caused yields to be all over the board. They ranged from 0-74 bushels with a day two average of 37.7 bushels per acre.
Day three concluded the tour with a final survey of fields from Wichita to Kansas City. These fields averaged 43.8 bushels per acre with a low of 25 and a high of 83. Due to weighted averages, this smaller production area does not have a huge influence on statewide statistics. Again, the lack of disease pressure was evident.
The results of each day, plus the three-day composite can be seen in the accompanying tables. Last yearís results are noted for comparison.
Our calculated formula result for the entire trip was 38.8 bushels per acre versus 35.6 bushels on the same routes last year. Forty-four tour participants estimated the total production for Kansas at an average of 364 million bushels. This compares with our estimate of 297 million bushels last year. The Kansas Ag Statistics Service will reveal their first estimate of the Kansas crop on May 12.
Scouts from Nebraska, Colorado and Oklahoma also gave the group results of their own state mini-tours. Nebraska pegged its crop at 42 bushels per acre versus 45 last year. Colorado estimated yields of 31.2 versus 28.8 last year. Oklahoma estimated their production at 170 million bushels versus 104 million in 2002.
The keys to the 2003 crop in Kansas are moisture and the number of acres of abandonment. Some acres in the west are still too dry with a lot of small tillers subject to abortion. There seems to be more irrigated wheat than at any time in recent memory. The central areas of the state have tremendous potential. Dryland wheat just canít be much better than what the scouts saw this year in that area.