Participants in the annual Kansas winter wheat crop tour on Thursday afternoon forecast the state’s average yield at 49.1 bushels per acre up sharply from last year’s tour estimate of 37.4 bushels per acre.
The yield estimate, based on surveys of 608 fields over three days, was also well above the three-year tour average yield of 39.6 bushels per acre and was the highest on record going back to at least 2000, according to date on the website of the Wheat Quality Council which sponsors the event.
This year’s yield tops the recent tour high of 48.9 bushels per acre recorded in 2005. A 49.1-bushel yield would also top the record final yield recorded by USDA in 1998 of 49 bushels per acre.
The crop tour participants estimated total Kansas wheat production at 403.9 million bushels, up 46% from last year’s drought-reduced 276.5-million-bushel crop. In addition to better yields, higher seedings and a lower abandonment rate will help boost production from last year.
However, the general feeling among crop tour veterans is that the tour estimate is a bit high. Personally, I think our number is a bit high but not way out of line in my opinion," tour organizer Ben Handcock told DTN news. "We saw a lot of disease on day one. We saw a lot of bad flag leaves on wheat that had just headed out. That might limit the crop."