TOPEKA (KSNT) – A survey of Kansas wheat fields to estimate yields started in Manhattan, traveled to Colby, down to Wichita, and back to Manhattan.
Marsha Boswell, Vice President of Communications with the Kansas Wheat Commission joined KSNT 27 News to discuss the crop conditions found during the 2022 Wheat Tour.
“Some of those areas in southwest Kansas, they are just going to be zeroed out. They’re not going to be harvestable. It’s been so dry since it was planted that there’s just not any wheat. There are no roots in some of that stuff. It just didn’t come up like it was supposed to in the fall,” Boswell says.
Even though the drought has significantly impacted crops this year, the Commission found that the crops are healthy and haven’t seen many diseases or pest influences.
In 2021, Kansas fields produced 52 bushels of wheat per acre. This year, they are estimated to produce 39 bushels per acre according to the USDA estimate.
The Kansas Wheat Commission said that Oklahoma and Colorado crops aren’t fairing much better, and combining their harvest with Kansas’ this year, it will still be less than what Kansas, alone, harvested in 2021.
“There’s a lot up in the air. The markets are very volatile right now, but there will be wheat here to eat in the United States. Exports are going to be hurting with that lack of production [in Ukraine]. There will be wheat here, but we’re kind of priced out of the market for exports right now,” Boswell says.
In April, Boswell was optimistic about Kansas having a crop but warned it may not be a bumper crop to make up for droughts in other parts of the country, including Texas.