KANSAS CITY — Crop scouts surveying wheat fields across Kansas saw a wide range of crop conditions but a higher average yield on the second day of the Wheat Quality Council’s Hard Red Winter Wheat Tour.
Ninety two participants in 21 vehicles stopped at 305 fields on May 6. The average yield of all fields was estimated at 34.5 bus an acre, up slightly from the first-day average of 34.3 bus an acre and up from last year’s second day average of 32.8 bus an acre.
Scouts traveling south of Colby, Kas., saw some of the most drought stricken wheat in the state, with yield estimates in the western portion of the state ranging from zero to 18 bus an acre. But as tour participants moved east they saw some of the best wheat with yield estimates ranging from 35 to 50 bus an acre from Dodge City to Wichita, Kas.
“A worrisome thing that I saw was the amount of stripe rust along these routes,” said Romulo Pisa Lollato, a wheat and forages extension specialist with Kansas State University. “We found stripe rust in 5 out of 16 samples between Dodge City and Kingman county, and it concerns me because of the area’s good yield potentials.” There also was evidence of wheat streak mosaic virus, wheat smut, winter kill, hail damage and drought stress in various fields.
It was noted that some participants on the tour saw their first tornado on Wednesday evening as part of a severe weather system moving across Kansas and Oklahoma.
“In my area double crop wheat acres will have low yields, if they haven’t been taken out already,” said Scott Van Allen, a farmer in Sumner county, Kansas. “There is some really nice looking wheat, but there is also some wheat that just couldn’t make it with the lack of moisture. But what did hang on, the rain has helped 100%, so I am still optimistic.”Tour participants will continue to visit fields Thursday morning before gathering in Kansas City to present a final yield estimate and a Kansas wheat production forecast at a meeting hosted by Sosland Publishing Co.