Following the largest Kansas wheat crop in nearly a decade - 382.2 million bushels, according to Kansas Ag Statistics - it appears a smaller Kansas wheat crop could be in store for 2013.
In in its Jan. 11 Crops Report, KASS estimated that Kansas farmers planted 9.3 million acres of wheat for the 2013 crop. This is the second-largest planted acreage in the last five years, but falls 200,000 acres short of the previous year's mark.
Many farmers planted their crop in relatively dry conditions; even after rain and snow events this month the state is abnormally dry, according to farmer-leaders of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and Kansas Wheat Commission, who met Jan. 15 in Manhattan.
David Schemm, past-president of KAWG from Sharon Springs, says wheat planted last fall emerged okay, but lack of moisture and has damaged the stand of wheat in his western Kansas fields. In the winter dormancy period, wheat typically retains some green color, but plants in many of his fields are brown.
"If we have good rainfall in the spring, we have a chance for maybe an average crop," Schemm says. If not, it could be a poor harvest this summer.