2023 Wheat Crop Tour Estimates Differ by over 13 Million Bushels vs OGFA Member Projections

Listen to KC Sheperd talk with Mike Schulte about this year’s Oklahoma Winter Wheat estimates.

At the 125th Annual Meeting of the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association, which provides estimates of the size of the Oklahoma Wheat Crop, Farm Director KC Sheperd talked with Mike Schulte of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission about this year’s numbers and factors impacting the wheat market.

“Certainly, just not the numbers we really want to see for the state-wide averages for our wheat crop,” Schulte said. “We were expecting the numbers that were reported, but it certainly, I think, hits home that things are going to be a challenge for our wheat producers this year during harvest.”

Schulte said wheat producers are still facing the challenge of deciding what is going to be harvested and what will be used for hay going forward.

“The number that was put together for this 2023 year from our extension agents, our crop consultants, and area agronomists across the state came in at 54.3 million bushels is what they are estimating,” Schulte said. “They are saying that we are going to have a little over 2.2 million acres of wheat harvested, and they are giving that a 24.65-bushel average for the state.”

The number that came out from the ag professionals who went across the state this week, Schulte said, was much higher than those estimates from the group members at the meeting.

“Generally, that number is right on par,” Schulte said. “I have never seen that much of differentiation since I have been in my ten years at the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, but the group number right now, estimate, is 40.7 million bushels for statewide production. They are saying we are going to have just a little over two million acres of wheat harvested across the state with a 22.2-bushel average.” The 40.7 million bushels would be, if realized, even lower than the 2014 wheat crop in Oklahoma of 47.6 million bushels.

Many producers have been wondering why the market has not reacted to these conditions, Schulte said, and one reason is because the domestic industry is not aware of how things are looking in the Southern Plains.

“I think once these numbers start coming in, they are going to start looking at that, but we also have some other issues just with marketing challenges across the globe,” Schulte said. “The World Bank and USDA, and the Congressional Budget Office are looking for maybe a downward trend in prices just because world production in other places is so high right now.”

All the way back to 1955, Schulte said, this may be the worst year winter wheat producers in Oklahoma have seen yet. The 1955 harvest was the worse, post Dust Bowl, of any crop year with just 23.8 million bushels, based on just 8 bushels per acre on 2.97 million acres.

Panhandle Region Comments from Darrell McBee:

North Central-East Region Estimates from Jeff Mitchell:

West Central Region Estimates from Greg Hartman:

Central Region Estimates from Grant Mason:

Northeast Region Estimates from Adam Barbee:

South Central Region Estimates from Heath Sanders:

Southeast Region Estimates from Michael Trammell:

North Central-West Region Estimates from Josh Bushong:

Southwest Region Estimates from Gary Strickland:

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