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Kansas Wheat Tour Takes Off

Wheat Quality Council’s annual assessment of Hard Red Winter Wheat Crop takes a snapshot in time of Kansas crop.

The Wheat Quality Council’s annual tour of the Kansas hard red winter wheat crop began April 29, with more than 90 grain traders, government officials, millers, and wheat farmers covering pre-determined routes across the western two thirds of Kansas. 

Attendees will take one of six routes throughout the state, stopping at wheat fields every 20 to 30 miles. During the stops, each participant evaluates the wheat crop, measuring yields, and looking for disease, insects, and other challenges that could affect yield. Each evening, the tour group also will hear an assessment of the wheat crop in Nebraska, Colorado, and Oklahoma from wheat officials in those states.

Daily assessments of the wheat crop, thus far, will be reported each evening in Colby, Kansas, on April 30 and in Wichita, Kansas, on May 1. A final average yield estimate will be given by tour participants on May 2 at its wrap-up luncheon in Manhattan.

The tour is designed to be a snapshot in time of the Kansas wheat crop, which, up to this point, is in pretty good shape. 

According to the April 29 Crop Progress Report from the National Ag Statistics Service, the Kansas wheat crop is rated 10% excellent, 48% good, 31% fair, 8% poor, and 3% very poor. It is slightly behind the five-year average, with 64% jointed (compared with 75% average) and 4% headed (compared with 22% average). 

However, with cool and damp weather creeping into Kansas and surrounding states, leaf rust and stripe rust are beginning to appear in isolated areas, according to plant pathologists Erick DeWolf at Kansas State University and Bob Hunger at Oklahoma State University.  

In Kansas, rust was observed in a band of counties in the south-central portion. Also, there appears to be more soilborne mosaic than typical, DeWolf says. 

Stay abreast of the tour on Twitter at #WheatTour19 and check in with daily updates on Agriculture.com.

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