Two of the 100 wheat scouts sample a field in eastern Kansas.
Ben Handcock, executive vice president of the Wheat Quality Council, provides a final wrap-up of this year’s tour:
Twenty-one cars with 97 crop scouts surveyed and evaluated the potential of the Kansas wheat crop the week of April 30-May 3, 2012. The total number of field stops was 608 compared to 561 one year ago. This year the weather was great for all three days, and we had the largest number of participants in history.
The participants attended a brief training and tour overview session in Manhattan on the evening of April 30 before enjoying a great steak fry. The dinner was held at the Rambler’s Steak House in Manhattan.
Day one saw the 21 cars traveling on six different routes from Manhattan to Colby. (See tour map). The wheat seemed consistently good on most routes, and the Nebraska route found good wheat. Considerable disease pressure was found by the scouts. Yields for the day ranged from 21-120 bushels per acre with the day one average on all routes at 53.4 bushels. This compares with 40 bushels one year ago. We stopped in 280 fields on day one. A group scouted eastern Colorado and reported a yield average of 40 bushels and estimated a total production of 88 million bushels for 2012.
Day Two the cars traveled from Colby to Wichita. Several cars went into the far western Kansas counties and three cars actually covered the northern tier of Oklahoma counties. The western Kansas area was reported as being still quite dry, and in serious need of a good rain. The cars in Oklahoma found fair yields in very dry fields in the west but improvement as they moved east. The day two average was 43.7 bushels per acre compared to 33.4 in 2011. We had a range from 8-99 bushels and made 286 stops. Oklahoma reported an estimated 39.6 bushels per acre and a total production of 164.9 million bushels. This compares with 67.7 million estimated at this time last year.
Day Three concluded the trip with the cars traveling from Wichita to Kansas City. We lost a car and a few people in Wichita and made 42 stops on the shortened day. This smaller production area does not have a significant impact on the state-wide average, but is usually a high yielding area. Yields ranged from 33-100 bushels with the day three average at 57.5 compared to 49.5 last year. Moisture seemed to be better across this area of the state.
(click the map to enlarge)
The Calculated Average for the entire tour was 49.1 bushels per acre compared to 37.4 bushels on the same routes in 2011. The scouts use a formula provided by KS Ag Statistics to arrive at their calculated average. The formula is based on a 10-year rolling average and changes slightly from year to year.
The Estimated Production for the Kansas crop by 63 participants who joined the pool this year is 403.8 million bushels. These people base their estimates on yield estimates and acres expected to be harvested. There are always a number of abandoned acres and they attempt to factor that into the equation. KS Ag Statistics released their official estimate of the crop today. They had production estimates of 387 million bushels and 43 bushels per acre.
For More Information
Read more of AgWeb's coverage of the 2012 Hard Winter Wheat Tour:
Large Winter Wheat Crop Predicted
If the weather holds out, Kansas could have one of its biggest winter wheat crops in a decade.
Wrapping Up the Hard Winter Wheat Tour
The Wheat Quality Council 2012 Hard Winter Wheat Tour wrapped up Thursday. Here are the final numbers from the tour.
AgWeb Radio: Final Results of the Hard Winter Wheat Tour
Sara Schafer, AgWeb online editor, reports the final average yields and comparisons to last year.
Kansas Wheat Would Welcome Rain
The success of much of the central and southern Kansas wheat crop will depend on rain.
Stellar Hard Winter Wheat Crop Predicted
Reports from the first day of the Hard Winter Wheat Tour show the highest expected yields in the past decade.