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Kansas Wheat Tour 2024 – Day 1

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Participants on the northern routes of this year’s Hard Winter Wheat Tour saw some of the nicer wheat they have seen in years, while participants on the southern routes saw drought-stricken fields. They calculated yields based on the number of heads and the number of spikelets in the heads; However, tour scouts saw stripe rust, wheat stripe mosaic virus and frost damage.

About 69 people from 19 states traveled in 18 cars on six routes between Manhattan and Colby, Kan., on Tuesday, stopping at wheat fields every 15 to 20 miles along the routes, as part of Wheat Quality’s 66th annual Hard Winter Wheat Council. Evaluation tour.

About half of the participants had not been on the tour before. They demonstrated how to take yield measurements from tour alumni using the formula from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). This formula is based on objective yield data from 2014-2023 in Kansas. Farmers can calculate their own field estimates using the same formula with instructions at kswheat.com.

Each tour participant makes yield calculations at each stop based on three to four different area samples per field. These individual estimates are averaged with the rest of their route mates and ultimately added to a formula that produces a final yield estimate for the areas along the routes. While yields are often the focus of the Wheat Quality Tour, the real benefit is the opportunity to network within the grain chain. This tour gives Kansas farmers the opportunity to interact with and influence their customers around the world, both during the tour and through the hashtag #wheattour24.

Tuesday’s wheat tour scout cars made 206 stops at wheat fields in northern, central and northwestern Kansas, and in southern counties in Nebraska. The calculated yield is based on what scouts have seen at that moment. A lot can happen between now and harvest. The calculated yield from all autos was 49.9 bushels per acre, which was above trend line yields and representative of areas of the state not most affected by drought. Day 2 of the tour travels through southwest and south-central Kansas, areas that have not seen any precipitation recently.

Based on May 1 conditions, Kansas’ 2024 winter wheat crop is forecast at 267.9 million bushels, an increase of 66 million bushels over last year’s harvest, NASS said. Average yields are expected to be 38 bushels per acre, an increase of 3 bushels from last year. The crop area for grain is estimated at 7.05 million hectares, up from last year’s 5.75 million hectares.

For the week ending May 12, 2024, winter wheat condition in Kansas rated 13% very poor, 22% poor, 34% fair, 28% good and 3% excellent. The share of winter wheat in Kansas was 97%, compared to 84% last year and 89% over the five-year average. The leading position was 73%, well above last year’s 48% and the average of 43%. Staining was 1%.

In addition to Kansas reports, scouts from Nebraska and Colorado met with the group in Colby to provide reports from their states.

Royce Schaneman of the Nebraska Wheat Board reported that USDA estimates the Nebraska harvest at 40.8 million bushels, up from last year’s 36.96 million bushels. Yield is estimated at 48 bushels per acre.

A report from Colorado estimated the harvest at 72 million bushels, based on a yield of 44 bushels per acre and 2.1 million acres planted. This is lower than the May 1 USDA estimate of 81.4 million bushels, based on a slightly higher shutdown rate. Last year production was 74.62 million bushels.

These estimates are for this year’s hard winter wheat crop at this current snapshot.

Wheat Tour 24 continues Wednesday with six routes between Colby and Wichita, Kansas.