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Expectations for the U.S. hard red winter wheat crop this year have fluctuated significantly: initial crop ratings were very strong but have deteriorated significantly in the southern Plains due to dryness and concern about a frost. But with the harvest approaching over the next month in top producer Kansas, the crop appears to still have strong potential.

The Wheat Quality Council’s annual three-day tour found better-than-expected yields, with a final estimate of the yield potential at 46.5 bushels per acre. This was the highest on the tour since 2021, and above the five-year average of 42.4. Results were highly variable though, with strong yield potential in the eastern half of the state and generally declining prospects further west. Kansas State extension specialist Romulo Lollato said the crop still needs cool and wet weather during grain fill to reach that 46.5-bushel estimate, which he said was on the high end. “Variability is the name of the game this year,” he said.


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