Crop scouts surveying wheat fields in Kansas, the top U. S. wheat-producing state, last Tuesday were finding early signs of good yield potential with preliminary estimates ranging from 40 to 50 bushels per acre.
There was little sign of damage or disease in fields scouted through northern and central parts of the U. S. Midwestern state, said wheat industry players participating in the three-day tour of hundreds of Kansas wheat fields.
“Plant health looks pretty good,” said General Mills grain merchandiser Justin Gilpin, who was acting as a crop scout. “You can tell moisture has been decent.”
After a dry winter and early fears of crop damage following an early April freeze, crop conditions have improved in recent weeks.
Kansas State University agronomist Jim Shroyer said the state’s new hard red winter wheat crop appeared on track for at least an average-sized harvest this summer.
“I think the crop is wonderfully boring,” said Shroyer. “There are no real surprises at this point. There is good moisture and very little disease.”
Crop scouts said they were finding some fields showing weed pressure and irregular stands, and some fields, particularly those double-cropped, showing nitrogen deficiency. But on average, scouts were reporting yield estimates between 40 and 50 bushels per acre, with some fields averaging as high as 63 bushels per acre.
A year ago, participants surveying northern and central fields in the state found an average estimated yield of 45.5 bushels per acre.
The findings come about a month after a late winter storm hit the new crop with freezing temperatures that were damaging to many fields through the southern U. S. Plains. But most of Kansas had good snow cover and adequate soil moisture and there was only minimal signs of damage the first week of May.