A new government forecast for the size of the 2013 Kansas winter wheat crop reflects improvements amid the state’s wet spring weather. The National Agricultural Statistics Service on Wednesday revised its Kansas production estimate to 307.8 million bushels. That’s up 3 percent from last month’s forecast but would still be down 21 percent from last year’s crop. The agency also revised its average yield estimate to 38 bushels an acre. That is up one bushel from what had been expected just a month ago, but four bushels per acre fewer than what Kansas growers were cutting last year. The 8.1 million wheat acres anticipated to be harvested in Kansas this year remain unchanged from last month’s estimate. It is down 11 percent from a year ago.
In Ottawa County the above average precipitation has delayed the beginning of harvest. As farmers begin in southern and southwestern Kansas, area farmers are still waiting for the wheat to fully mature. Local extension agent, Tom Maxwell, anticipates that this year’s harvest should be worth the wait. “We have dodged several bullets this April and the heat didn’t damage much of the counties crop. Overall this appears to be a very solid crop with good yield potential.” It is possible that some farmers might attempt to start this week, but with cooler tem
peratures and rain still a possibility, it would appear that this year’s harvest won’t begin in earnest until the middle of next week.