The Wheat Quality Council’s 2021 Hard Red Winter Wheat Tour finished up last week. The total weighted average yield estimate was 58.1 bushels per acre, a likely tour record that DTN says far surpasses USDA’s national yield projection of 52.1 bushels per acre. It’s the highest tour yield estimate in 19 years and the best in the event’s history, which stretches back over 40 years. The tour made 250 stops in multiple fields, most of which were in Kansas.
They did visit several fields in southern Nebraska and northern counties in Oklahoma. Kansas is the nation’s largest winter wheat producing state, and Kansas farmers planted 7.3 million acres last fall. Harvest will get underway in June. Kansas Wheat CEO Justin Gilpin says recent rainfall greatly helped to improve crop conditions after a dry early spring. He also says good prices prompted many farmers to closely monitor their crops for disease pressure and spray fungicides to keep the crop healthy. He was also quick to credit improved wheat genetics in helping plants better endure stress, such as drought. “Mother Nature has been good to the crop over the past two weeks with rain,” Gilpin tells DTN. “The yield estimate is a testament to wheat breeders and better genetics.”