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Tour: Fewer disease pressures seen in Kansas wheat crop

Agriculture.com Staff 05/07/2008 @ 10:39am

This year's Kansas wheat crop looks slightly better than last year's, with fewer disease pressures seen moving ahead in these last few weeks before harvest.

That's the early verdict of the Wheat Quality Council (WQC) Kansas wheat tour underway this week. The annual wheat tour kicked off Monday in Manhattan, Kansas, with agronomists, wheat specialists and members of agribusiness traveling the state through Thursday to get an overall look at this year's crop.

The tour broke into six groups, with each traversing a different section of the state. Overall, average yields are estimated between 42 and 48 bushels per acre, according to tour participants. The 45.4-bushel-per-acre average yield guess is 5.4 bushels per acre higher than that seen during last year's WQC Kansas tour.

"Crop quality looked good, with most participants commenting on a lack of disease pressure this year," says Kansas City Board of Trade vice president Shelia Summers, who's traveling with the tour.

Tan spot, wheat streak mosaic and powdery mildew have been noted in most areas, though not at severe levels. In addition to some unevenness in crop development because of last fall's inconsistent planting period, mild frost damage has been seen in western reaches of the state, Summers says.

In most areas, tour participants note that harvest should begin within a 60-day window in most parts of Kansas.

This year's Kansas wheat crop looks slightly better than last year's, with fewer disease pressures seen moving ahead in these last few weeks before harvest.

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