Milling & Baking News - May 8, 2018 - 11


Small Kansas wheat in good shape,
but developing behind normal
Manhattan, scouts managed to stop at
two to three muddy fields per vehicle
along one of six routes and examine
wheat progress in the aftermath of a
May 2 weather event, which more than
one industry veteran called a "milliondollar rain."
From Thursday's 43 stops, scouts
calculated an average of 39.8 bus
per acre, up 13% from the previous
day's estimate, but down 19% from
the same routes estimated in 2017.
Combining the three days of the
tour, an average of 37 bus per acre
was estimated from 644 total stops,
down 24% from 48.6 bus per acre
based on 469 stops during the 2017
wheat tour.
Romulo Lollato, assistant professor of agronomy, wheat and forage
extension specialist with Kansas
State University, said that the biggest takeaway is that the crop is
proceeding significantly behind
"Some fields we examined this
morning in hood stage were likely
at grain fill stage last year," he said.
"The crop is going to start grain fill
in about two weeks. The problem
is we're already going to be much
warmer, so that puts us with 25 days
of grain fill instead of 40 to 45 days
we were seeing last year."
Echoing producers that scouts
spoke with along the tour, Mr. Lollato said rain is crucial to the crop
moving forward.
"The crop from hood stage on
is going to use 0.2 to 0.3 inches of
moisture per day," he said. "Ideally
we would have an inch and a half
every week."
Stripe rust disease, while minimal
in wheat inspected by scouts April
30-May 3, still has the potential to
damage production, Mr. Lollato
"We had stripe rust reported in
Oklahoma a few weeks back, and
we had a few rainfall events that
come north from Texas to Oklahoma
to Kansas and bring some of those
spores," he said noting the evidence
takes a few weeks to materialize in
wheat plants and producers' choice
to spray additional fungicide is
complicated by the limited yield potential.
Aaron Harries, executive vice-president of research and operations for /

the Kansas Wheat Commission, said
the statewide crop was one of the
worst he has seen on a wheat tour.
"It's short in stature, and it's going to be short in bushels," Mr. Harries said. "I was surprised by the


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to better understand wheat market
movement in 2018.
"Learning about what's happening
weather-wise with wheat and looking at the speculation in the market,
it's crazy right now," he said. "Looking at what's going to happen with
the wheat in June and in the July harvest will help me make decisions for
our business units as we make some

Producer Gary Millershaski discusses wheat quality in a field a half mile southwest of
Walton, Kas., May 3 with Janet Bear of Frontier Ag Inc., Goodland, Kas., and Evan
Backhus of White Energy, Russell, Kas. Scouts estimated bus per acre for this field at 32.

consistency of the poor progress.
On a given year we see high yielding fields on one side of the road,
low yielding on the other. This year
is consistently low yielding."
Brief jaunts into adjacent hard
winter growing states offered additional information to the grain supply chain. Southwest Nebraska and
northeast Colorado are in a pocket
with northwest Kansas that appeared
to have avoided a drought monitor
and is considered normal conditions.
The 2018 tour, presented by the
Wheat Quality Council, hosted 98
participants, including 21 millers,
16 bakers, 15 grain merchandisers,
9 government workers, 9 journalists
and 7 university employees.
An additional 11 tourgoers hail
from other businesses with interests in wheat, including buyers for
Dunkin' Brands and Tyson Foods.
Timothy Paramata, sourcing manager with Tyson in Bentonville,
Ark., made his tour debut in order

informed decisions for the next quarter and for F.Y.19.
"I've been reading a lot about
wheat lately, and everything has been
negative about drought in Kansas
and abroad. So, coming on this tour
has really opened my eyes to find that
if there is rain within the next couple
weeks, it could really change the
whole dynamic of the market."
Dave Green, executive vice-president of the W.Q.C., said he was confident in the yield calculated from
the scouts' work.
"We stopped at almost 650 fields,
so that was a big sampling we did,"
he said. "I like our number a lot. I
think we're right about where we
ought to be for the May estimate. It's
a long way to harvest, and either the
crop is going get better or worse, and
we hope it gets better. It needs some
timely rains, and it needs to avoid
the heat for the next 30 days or so as
we get into grain filling, and it will
maximize the potential it has." MBN
Milling & Baking News

May 8, 2018 / 11

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