Wheat farmers share crop conditions

Posted October 23, 2014

On October 22, 2014, the Kansas Wheat Commission held a regular board meeting at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center in Manhattan, Kansas.

Farmer board members reported that planting in most areas is nearly complete, and that the wheat is coming up and looks good.

David Radenberg, a farmer from Barton County, reported that his wheat is up and the no-till wheat in his area looks really good, although there are some extremely wet patches. He estimates that acres in his area will be higher than the average.

Jason Ochs, from Syracuse in Hamilton County, reported that he is seeing some of the best stands he's had in years. He said, "Where there's no disease, the wheat looks beautiful." However, Ochs says they have seen some disease pressure, including rust and mosaic in some areas. He estimates that overall acreage will be similar to last year, but that white wheat acres have increased in the area.

Jay Armstrong, from Atchison County, reported that the area is "so muddy that wheat acres are down." He said that some fusarium is starting in the area. On a positive note, Armstrong reported that this year was the best fall harvest he has seen.

Scott Van Allen, from Clearwater in Sedgwick County, estimates that there won't be any more acres of wheat this year in his area than normal. He reports that some pockets were very dry going into planting, while other areas had heavy rains. Some of the wheat had to be replanted due to the heavy rains. He did receive some slow rain after planting, so overall the wheat looks good. His fall crop harvest was above average as well.

Ron Suppes, who farms in Lane and Scott Counties, reluctantly admitted that he has been getting some rain in the area. The wheat is planted and up. Although he estimates that overall acres haven't increased, he reports a steady increase in hard white wheat acres over the past several years. Suppes says grasshoppers are an issue in the area, and spraying will be done over the next week.

Mike McClellan, from Palco in Rooks County, estimates that acreage will remain approximately the same. He reports that wheat in the area is up and looks good.

For the week ending October 19, 2014, up to one inch of rain fell in the east, while the west remained dry, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Temperatures were near normal. Activities included seeding wheat and harvesting row crops. The number of days suitable for field work was 5.5. Topsoil moisture rated 5 percent very short, 20 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 13 percent very short, 26 percent short, 59 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus.

Winter wheat planted was at 78 percent, behind last year and the five-year average of 84. Winter wheat emerged was 58 percent, equal to last year and near 56 average.

While at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, board members got an update on and tour of growth chambers, lab space, and greenhouses.