Optimism in Wheat Country

Wheat looks good, doesn’t it?

It’s still a long way until harvest, but…

  • The 2012 Kansas wheat crop looks pretty good. That assessment is based on comments from our KAWG and KWC board members, visual appraisal, and the March 26 Crop Report, the Kansas Ag Statistics, which reckons the crop is 59% good to excellent. To put it into perspective, last year’s crop was only 31% good to excellent at this time.
  • Improvement of the crop’s condition is due in large part to rain that fell last week. Farmers throughout Kansas received at least some rain; most of the KAS reporting stations recorded at least one-inch or more of precipitation. (For the record, Pittsburg received more than five inches. Tribune and Goodland report 0.50-0.60 inches, and thankfully, southwest Kansas received more than one inch.)Thus, topsoil moisture improved to 84% adequate or surplus (a year ago, it was 62%). Still, 16% of the state’s topsoils are very short, or short, of moisture. 

Why we’re concerned:

  • A good portion of the wheat crop is jointing. While normally only 11% of the crop would have jointed by now, this year, 24% has jointed. In south central Kansas, nearly 85% of the crop has jointed.
  • While the near-term weather forecast looks great – we all know that a late freeze is possible. And that could really wreak havoc with a developing wheat crop.

All in all – save for a few exceptions – this crop looks as good as any Kansas wheat crop in a long, long time.  

 

 

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