Kansas wheat off to a good start

Staff Writer
Wheat, just before harvest, in Sedgwick, County, Kansas, June 19, 2020.

SEDGWICK COUNTY—According to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, the winter wheat condition in Kansas is rated at more than 75% fair to excellent, with coloring for the week ending June 21 at 97%. This is ahead of last year’s 88%. With one quarter of the wheat harvested, this year is off to a great start.

The June 11 Crop Production Report provided the second, survey-based winter wheat production forecast for the 2020/21 marketing year. U.S. winter wheat in production is forecast at 1.27 billion bushels, up 1% from the early May forecast. Expanding drought across the southern High Plains (western Kansas, southeastern Colorado, western Oklahoma, and northwestern Texas) is limiting the growth potential for 2020/21 yields.

According to Jennifer Bond of the USDA Economic Research Service, in the hard red winter wheat-producing States of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, yields are down.

As for overseas forecasts, it’s a mixed bag. Per the USDA, India’s wheat harvest is estimated at 107.1 million tons, up from 103.6 million on both expanded harvested area and higher yields. For Australia, following two years of drought, harvest is expect to have a 71% increase over the 2019/20 wheat harvest of 15.2 million. Production for both Turkey and China are each raised one million tons this month on improved conditions. At 19.5 million metric tons, Turkey’s projected wheat harvest is 5% above last year’s estimate

The European Union’s wheat harvest expects a different trajectory. Their wheat forecast is cut to 141 million. Bond’s report states Romania, the United Kingdom and France were especially affected by lack of rain, which has contributed to a 6% year-to-year reduction in the forecast EU wheat yield.

Because of dry weather, production for Ukrainian wheat is forecast at 26.5 million tons, a 5% decline from the May forecast. Russia is expected to have an increase in production.