Oklahoma Wheat Crop Estimate Off 45 Percent from 2012 HarvestWed, 01 May 2013 20:34:17 CDT
Estimates of this year’s wheat crop can be summed up in a single word: dismal. Attendees at the annual Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association Annual Meeting at the Oklahoma City Marriott heard the sobering report from representatives of nine different areas of the state.
All totaled, Oklahoma producers are expected to harvest 85,583,000 bushels of wheat this year. That’s a 45 percent drop from last year’s harvest of 154.8 million bushels.
Regionally, the numbers breakdown as follows:
Far Southwest Oklahoma 5,512,099
Southeast Oklahoma 490,000
Northeast Oklahoma 2,975,000
Panhandle Plus Harper County 2,000,000
West Central Oklahoma 11,280,000
Central Oklahoma 15,136,000
Northwest- West 15,160,000
Northwest-North Central 21,610,000
Total of Estimates Presented 85,583,000
This estimate is based on 3.362 million acres harvested with an annual yield of 25.45 bushels per acre
Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association members polled after the report session estimated the size of the 2013 crop at 88.022 million bushels based on 3.46 million acres and a yield of 25.44 bushels per acre. They basically left the yield per acre the same as what the crop scouts provided- and increased the number of acres they thought would be harvested by about 100,000 acres.
Kim Metcalf, crop consultant with Farmers Grain Co-Op in north central Oklahoma said assessing this year’s crop was difficult. His area included Kay, Grant, Garfield and Noble counties. (You can listen to an interview with Kim by clicking on the LISTEN BAR at the bottom of this story.)
“It was extremely tough. The plant right now is immature, especially in the northern tier of the state, especially the northern counties, and it’s confused as far as what Mother Nature’s dealt out to it this year. It’s very challenging to count accurately this early.”
At this time last year, the wheat crop was well along, with a lot of heads already emerged. This year, Metcalf says, in his four counties, there are no heads out of the boot yet. Cooler than normal weather with late freezes in April, has dealt the crop a serious blow.
He said the only thing that could salvage more of the crop would be better weather-for the wheat.
“The kind of weather that would do the crop the most good wouldn’t be fun for most of us and that would be cool, wet weather. That kind of weather’s not near as much fun to experience spring, but as far as what the wheat crop would enjoy both to heal and to fill.”
He says farmers in his area are taking a “wait and see” attitude about their crop before making any decisions on what to do. He said the jury is still out on whether many producers will throw in the towel and bale their wheat as hay. So far, he doesn’t believe a lot of acres will be hayed.
“Unless the freeze damage starts showing up worse than what we saw when we counted here Monday, I don’t anticipate a whole lot more. Now, that could all change in a heartbeat with what’s coming in the weather tonight or tomorrow. If the freeze finally takes it then we’ll be swather city, but right now I’d say not a tremendous amount.”
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