Wheat Tour 2021 Day 2 Recap

Posted May 19, 2021

On Wednesday, 45 people on the Wheat Quality Council’s 2021 winter wheat tour made their way from Colby to Wichita, Kansas, stopping in wheat fields along six different routes.

Wednesday’s wheat tour scouts made 164 stops at wheat fields across western, central and southern Kansas, and into northern counties in Oklahoma. The fields were wet from the rain received over the past several days. While tour scouts reported drought stress from the growing season, the rain has definitely made an improvement to the crop. The wheat in Southwest Kansas still looks pretty rough, but conditions improved as the tour moved east.

The calculated yield from all cars was 56.7 bushels per acre. This year’s tour is three weeks later than the tour has been in the past. Scouts were able to use the late season formula provided by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, which includes counting wheat heads, number of spikelets and kernels per spikelet. The calculated yields were based on this formula, but many tour participants remarked that those yields seemed high. The yield formula doesn’t take disease, pests or weed pressure into consideration. Scouts saw some instances of wheat streak mosaic virus, stripe rust and Russian wheat aphid. Many of the fields with rust had been sprayed with a fungicide.

Mike Shulte from Oklahoma Wheat Commission reported that the state’s production is estimated at 110.74 million bushels with 37.1 bushels per acre yield. Harvested acres are estimated at 2.985 million acres.

Wheat Tour 21 continues Thursday with six routes between Wichita and Manhattan. Follow along with the tour at #wheattour21. A final production estimate will be announced Thursday afternoon.