Kansas wheat acres could reach 100-year lows

Wheat acres in Kansas will likely be lower than last year,
possibly reaching 100-year lows in the state. Last year’s 7.7
million planted acres were the third-lowest in a century.

Abnormal weather patterns in October and November contributed to
the decrease in acres planted. According to the Kansas Mesonet,
there was record precipitation throughout the state in October and
below-average temperatures in November.

This has led to the state being essentially drought-free for the
first time in years, but it also kept farmers out of the fields
during fall harvest and wheat drilling time.

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that
for the week ending Dec. 2, topsoil moisture supplies rated 0% very
short, 4% short, 76% adequate, and 20% surplus. Subsoil moisture
supplies rated 0% very short, 6% short, 83% adequate and 11%
surplus. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows drought conditions in
Kansas on Nov. 27 of only 6.2% abnormally dry and 0.5% in moderate
drought. None of the state is in severe drought or worse.

USDA/NASS also reports that fall harvest is mostly complete,
with corn harvest at 96%, soybean harvest at 95% and grain sorghum
harvest at 89%.

But, wheat should’ve been planted by the end of October in
most areas of the state, and at that time, soybean harvest was only
63% complete and grain sorghum harvest was only 49% complete. This
kept farmers from planting wheat behind soybeans in a common

At the November 29 board meeting of the Kansas Association of
Wheat Growers and Kansas Wheat Commission, farmer board members
reported on wheat planted acreage in their areas this fall.

In West Central/Southwest Kansas, Rick Horton, who farms in
Wichita and Kearney counties, reported that the moisture profile in
the area is good. While wheat acreage overall might be up a little
in the area, traditional fallow acres are still down about the same
as last year.

Ron Suppes, who farms in Lane County, reported that acres are
down a little in his area, but some farmers were still trying to
drill wheat at the end of November. He says that there is still
some grain sorghum left to cut and that most of the wheat is

In Northwest Kansas, Brian Linin, who farms in Sherman County,
reported that acres are similar to the past, and the wheat looks
really good. He shared that there is uncharacteristic moisture in
the area and the snow is just a boost to that moisture. He did
share a concern about the likelihood of wheat streak mosaic virus
in the area.

Chris Tanner, who farms in Norton County, estimates that fall
harvest is only 60% complete in the county. He says wheat acres are
down, but early planted wheat looks nice. He says farmers were
still drilling wheat in the area as of the end of November.

In north-central Kansas, Mike McClellan, who farms in Rooks
County, estimates that wheat acres are down 1/3 from last year. He
says that farmers weren’t able to get many wheat acres in behind

Mike Jordan, who farms in Mitchell County, agreed. He says most
people would have had to stop harvesting fall crops to plant wheat,
so he estimates acres will be down 25% in Mitchell County.

In Central Kansas, David Radenberg from Barton County reported
that acres are also down in his area, and that grain sorghum
harvest is not complete.

Doug Keesling, who farms in Rice County, agreed that acres are
down in central Kansas, estimating a decrease of 5-15% from last
year. He reported that most of the decrease came from acres that
were to be planted behind soybeans, because farmers weren’t able
to get their beans harvested and wheat planted.

Justin Knopf, who farms in Saline County, estimates acres
planted will be only 60-70% of last year, mostly because they
didn’t get planted behind soybeans.

Ken Wood, who farms in Dickenson County, estimates that acres
are down 25-30%, stating that farmers gave up on planting wheat
because of the poor weather conditions.

All four central Kansas farmers reported that they are still
finishing up soybean and grain sorghum harvest in the area.

In South Central Kansas, John Hildebrand, who farms in Stafford
County, reported that the early planted wheat in the area doesn’t
look very good, and that late-planted wheat is not yet emerged. He
says wheat acres are down, and there is still grain sorghum left to

Scott Van Allen, who farms in Sedgwick and Summer counties,
reported that early planted wheat in his area looks nice, and the
late planted is only ½ inches tall. He says that there was no
double crop wheat planted behind soybeans in his area, estimating
that acres are down 5-10%. There are still soybeans and grain
sorghum left to cut.

In Northeast Kansas, Jay Armstrong, who farms in Atchison
County, reported that wheat looks good in his area and that acres
are up a little over last year.

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that
for the week ending Dec. 2 winter wheat condition rated 3% very
poor, 13% poor, 39% fair, 35% good and 10% excellent. Winter wheat
emerged was 89%.

K-State Research and Extension reports that leaf rust is causing
problems for some wheat producers in Kansas this fall with reports
of wide spread infections in volunteer wheat and the early planted
fields in western and central regions of the state. They also
report that the sudden, sharp drop in temperatures across Kansas
observed in the early part of November 2018 could have different
consequences to the wheat crop, varying from no impact to some
injury in particular fields. This injury could depend on the amount
of snow on the surface and the amount of moisture in the soil,
which serves as a buffer against cold temperatures.

With all the wheat crop has already endured, we are still a
couple weeks away from the beginning of winter, and the condition
of the 2019 wheat crop will continue to evolve until harvest next
summer. While planted acres are down overall, at least the crop has
the opportunity to begin its fragile life with adequate

Source: Kansas Wheat

Source: FS – All – Food and Nutrition Blogs
Kansas wheat acres could reach 100-year lows