In its May 10 Crops Report, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service estimated the Kansas winter wheat crop will total 387 million bushels, which – if realized - would be up 40% from last year and the highest total since 2003.
The NASS estimate is based on May 1 observations, and contrasts with the 403.9 million bushel estimate of last week’s Wheat Quality Tour. Still, it confirms what the traders have said for sometime: the 2012 wheat crop could be better than average.
NASS expects the Kansas yield to average 43 bushels per acre, the highest in two years. The Wheat Quality Tour participants were more bullish, predicting a 49.1 bushel per acre average, which would be the highest since 1998.
Who is right? We’ll know in a few weeks, when harvest is expected to begin in south central Kansas. In the meantime, lot of factors can influence yield: temperatures, precipitation, disease infestation, and the ever-present threat of severe weather. Hail, tornadoes and strong wind can each destroy a wheat crop in seconds.
Here are some other observations from the May 10 Crops Report:
- The Oklahoma wheat crop is projected to total 154.8 million bushels, up a whopping 22%. Texas is forecast to harvest 103.9 million bushels, up 210%.
- The U.S. winter wheat crop is forecast at 1.69 billion bushels, up 13% from last year. U.S. yield is pegged at 47.6 bushels per acre, up 1.4 bushels.
- South Central Kansas will harvest 85 million bushels, to lead the state. That’s up 144%. However, West Central Kansas is projected to harvest 45.5 million – up 193%, the highest increase in the state.