winter wheat

Kansas Wheat's blog, The Wheat Beat

An odd thing has happened in wheat country — a lot of farmers aren't planting wheat.

Thanks to a global grain glut that has caused prices and profits to plunge, this year farmers planted the fewest acres of wheat since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began keeping records nearly a century ago.

Instead of planting the crop that gave the wheat belt its identity, many farmers are opting this year for crops that might be less iconic but are suddenly in demand, such as chickpeas and lentils, used in hummus and healthy snacks.

US Winter Wheat Forecast Improves, Still Below Year Ago

Jul 12, 2017
ronhays / Flickr

Kansas winter wheat harvest is looking better than it did a few weeks ago.

In late June, the results of hail and heat meant that some farmers were harvesting fewer bushels of winter wheat, a 10 to 70 bushels per acre variance.

Now, the National Agricultural Statistics Service projects an average 47 bushels per acre in Kansas. As the harvest continues, Kansas farmers are expected to cut 6.9 million acres of wheat.

National harvest statistics are down 23 percent from last year.

ronhays / Flickr

Midwest farmers planted the smallest winter wheat crop in a century this Fall.

A worldwide glut of wheat and a bumper crop this summer sent wheat prices tumbling below three dollars a bushel.

Farmers got the message, according to Kansas Wheat Commission CEO Justin Gilpin.

“Some of the lowest prices we’ve seen certainly in a decade," Gilpin says. "I think that had a big impact on farmers’ planting decisions this Fall.”

ronhays / Flickr

Lots of rainfall and average temperatures throughout Kansas means the state’s winter wheat crops are doing well.

According to the latest report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, 90 percent of Kansas’ winter wheat is rated either fair, good or excellent. The majority of crops are also more mature when compared to last year.

krse.ksu.edu

Agriculture experts are warning farmers about a disease that could affect winter wheat planting in Kansas.

As Kansas winter wheat farmers begin to plant seeds this fall, a fungal disease called flag smut could be waiting to infect their future crops.

It was first detected in Rooks County in north-central Kansas back in May. The disease doesn’t affect plant quality, but can decrease yields.

Agrilife Today, flickr Creative Commons

The latest government update shows the 2015 winter wheat harvest is nearing completion in some parts of Kansas, and making good progress everywhere else.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that harvest statewide was 79 percent finished. That is ahead of the 66 percent cut at this time last year, but still behind the 83 percent average for this date.

Montgomery County Planning Commission, flickr Creative Commons

Frigid temperatures are forecasted for much of the Midwest this week and the nation’s winter wheat crop is expected to take a hit. But as KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, the wheat in Kansas may shake the cold.

Kansas winter wheat is sowed and much of it is safely under a blanket of snow, which should keep low temperatures from damaging plants. Alan Fritz is a professor and wheat breeding specialist at Kansas State University.

The fall harvest of crops in Kansas is mostly in the bin now. Winter wheat planting is done.

Kansas farmers and ranchers are taking advantage of the seasonal lull this week to gather together to socialize, hash out farm policy aims and gather information at three major agricultural conventions.

On Monday, more 1,000 farmers are heading to Manhattan to layout the roadmap for public policy issues that the Kansas Farm Bureau members consider important to agriculture.

On Wednesday, the Kansas Livestock Association kicks off its three-day convention beginning in Wichita.

The latest government snapshot of the Kansas winter wheat crop shows a mixed outlook after a month of cold, snowy weather.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service report Monday found wheat fields starting to show signs of growth as snow melted in February.

However, concerns remain about the potential for winterkill because of the season's extremely low temperatures.

The report rated the crop's condition as 22 percent poor or very poor, with about 33 percent rated good or excellent.

A new National Agricultural Statistics Service report has ranked the popularity of winter wheat varieties in Kansas.

The report labels "Everest" to be the leading wheat variety seeded in Kansas. Developed by Kansas State University, Everest accounts for over 14 percent of the planted acres for 2014.

A wheat variety called TAM 111 is the second most popular variety with 11.6 percent of the acreage. It is the leading variety planted in western Kansas.

In third place was the variety called T 158, with 5 percent of the planted acreage.

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