2005 Wheat Quality Council Hard
Winter Wheat Tour Completed
Summary by Ben Handcock
Fourteen cars with
54 participants surveyed the potential of the Kansas Wheat Crop the
week of May 2-5, 2005. The total number of field stops was 435
The Wheat Quality
Council Hard Winter Wheat Tour crop scouts received a brief training
and tour overview session on May 2 in Manhattan, KS. On May 3, the
fourteen cars traveled on six different routes and arrived that
evening in Colby, KS. The scouts reported seeing stripe rust and
some leaf spotting diseases along with powdery mildew. Nothing
seemed severe enough to have a big impact on the crop. Yields
ranged from a high of 87 bushels to a low of 24 bushels with a day
one average of 48.9 bushels per acre. Dry soil conditions prevailed
in the Central and Northwest areas.
Day two saw cars
going from Colby to Wichita, KS. Again, some disease was observed,
but the main item of concern was the dry soil conditions. The yield
range was from 89 bushels down to 7.5 bushels with a day two average
of 44.2 bushels per acre.
Day three concluded
the tour with a final survey of fields from Wichita to Kansas City.
These fields averaged 42.8 bushels per acre with a range from 69
down to 18 bushels. Due to weighted averages, this smaller
production area does not have a huge influence on statewide
statistics. This area also appeared drier than normal.
The results of
each day, plus the three-day composite can be seen in the
accompanying table. Past yearís results are noted for comparison.
average for the entire trip was 46.2 bushels per acre versus 37.4
bushels on the same routes last year. Forty-three participants
estimated the total Kansas production at an average 419.76 million
bushels. This estimate attempts to factor in acres of abandoned
wheat or total acres of harvested wheat. This compares with our
estimate of 355 million bushels for the same time last year. The
Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service will release its first
official estimate of production on May 12.
Nebraska, Colorado and Oklahoma also gave the group results of their
own state observations. Nebraska pegged its crop at 47 bushels
versus 39 last year. Colorado estimated yields of 36 versus 28 last
year. Oklahoma estimated total production at 146.6 million bushels
versus 165 million a year ago. All of these observations are based
on the same time frame as a year ago.
My personal view is
that this crop has a lot more downside potential than upside. It is
just too dry for this crop to reach its full yield potential.
Diseases may overtake the wheat in some isolated areas, but drought
is the big concern. It froze a week or ten days ago in a lot of
areas, and I donít believe we were capable of detecting how much
damage, if any, was done. The only evidence of a freeze in most
areas was the brown tips on the leaves. The full extent of any
damage will not be evident for a few more days.
Please donít get
the impression that our numbers are official. They are not. The KS
Ag Statistics numbers are the only official numbers. In the past
ten years or so, we have been remarkably close to their May number.
Many times, we are both quite a ways off from their final number
that they can adjust until fall
There were quite a
number of first-timers on this yearís tour. They reported that they
had a great time and also learned a great deal in a short time.
Thank you to all
our members, who send employees, provide cars and help in other ways
to make this tour a success. I look forward to your support again
next year on the 49th annual Wheat Quality Council Hard
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and Durum tour July 25-28. Registration forms are available on our
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Executive Vice President