Growers Weigh in on Wheat Crop Conditions

During Kansas Assn. of Wheat Growers board meetings in Wichita last month, talk before the meeting centered around the condition of the 2012 wheat crop.

The Kansas Ag Statistics Crop Condition Report yesterday confirmed the producers’ feelings: the crop is in pretty good shape right now. Inclement weather, however, could seriously damper the enthusiasm for this crop.

Michael Jordan, KAWG’s secretary-treasurer from near Beloit, says the wheat is in good shape. There is plenty of topsoil and subsoil moisture for now, so there is cautious optimism in north central Kansas.

In northwest Kansas, director Roger May says the crop was dry last fall, but 10-inches of snowfall in December changed that situation. The crop was beginning to green up, due in part to mild winter temperatures. May farms near Oberlin. Eric Sperber confirms May’s observance about mild temperatures; the director from Colby says three weeks passed where temps barely got below freezing. With the crop greening up, it could be prone to freeze damage. Meanwhile, director Richard Kvasnicka, Winona, says the crop is in much better shape than last year; however, there are still some late-planted farms on which the wheat has not yet come up.

In western Kansas, Vice President Gary Millershaski says the area around Lakin received heavy rain the first week of October, which helped emergence. However, recent high winds have caused blowing on about 5% of the area’s wheat. Acreage is up about 10% and the crop looks good overall.

In central Kansas, Randy Fritzemeier, board member from Stafford, says many producers are grazing wheat right now. About 20-30% more wheat acres were planted last fall than the year before, in part due to double cropping on irrigated circles. Salina director Justin Knopf says wheat acreage is up there, too – despite dryness at planting, there is a good stand in most areas. However, a rain will be needed soon to sustain the crop.

Finally, in east central Kansas, Past President Paul Penner says rainfall last year had been scarce, but since planting, 10 inches of precipitation has fallen. Wheat looks good as a result, although it is short. Penner says subsoil moisture is still limited in some areas.

How does the wheat look in your area of Kansas? Leave a comment and let us know!

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