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Following is a description of the orientation crop scouts encountered before embarking on the tour April 29, 2013
The 56th Annual Hard Winter Wheat Tour coordinated by the Wheat Quality Council opened April 29 in Manhattan, Kansas.
The Wheat Quality Council is founded on the idea of finding improvement in soft red and hard red winter wheat varieties. Millers and bakers use the council for application purposes and to gain feedback on various aspects of the wheat varieties. Originally, the crop tour was a field day event, used as a chance to take customers out in the fields and introduce them to the growth cycle of wheat and the progress of the crop. It has now evolved into the present-day estimations of how many bushels this year's harvest will produce.
The three basic goals of the wheat tour are as follows:
All participants arrived and received car assignments for the next day's wheat evaluation. Orientation was comprised of the introduction of coordinators and all participants and a basic overview of what the crop tour is based on. Participants were reminded that this tour is only a snapshot of what is observed on these three days of the tour.
In testing Kansas and area wheat fields for yield evaluation, these are the major steps involved.
This year the Kansas wheat crop is estimated at this time to be three weeks ahead in development for this time of year. Jason Lamprecht with the Kansas Ag Statistics Service addressed the participants of the crop tour in how to estimate the yield of a field. The crop participants will enter the field at a representative area, count the number of stalks within a foot. Wheat should not be headed out at this time in Kansas. This data will be entered into the yield formula from early season to estimate a yield.
Jim Shroyer, an agronomist with Kansas State University Research and Extension discussed some of the expectations of what the crop tour participants should see in the first day of of the tour on Tuesday. Shroyer indicates that Central Kansas looks good, with the crop receiving a big snow in March and recent rains. "Further west by Jetmore and Quinter, the crop goes downhill in a hurry," says Shroyer. "The wheat looks tough, resembling the crop of 1989 battling drought, frost, and wheat mites."
Shroyer also noted to look for stem damage in the areas of Pratt, KS and Kiowa County due to the freezing temperatures on April 10. Areas around Pratt, Barton, Rice County and Great Band could show damage from colder weather last week. "From Ness City and further west, irrigated fields got hit harder by the freeze," said Shroyer.
This year the HRW wheat crop tour has 77 participants. The group will travel the first day on six different routes from Manhattan, KS to Colby, KS, arriving in Colby, KS by 6:00 p.m.
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