Like all the pieces else in 2020, COVID-19 pandemic precautions stored the Wheat High quality Council’s Exhausting Winter Wheat Tour at residence final 12 months.
ROUTES: The Wheat High quality Council Exhausting Winter Wheat Tour makes use of the identical color-coded routes every year so as to scale back variables in calculations from carloads.
However now these precautions have eased, and the annual Exhausting Winter Wheat Tour is again on the highway from Might 17 to Might 20, crisscrossing the state with its rainbow-colored routes, gathering information on the standing of this 12 months’s winter wheat crop.
Snapshot in time
The tour idea is easy and has been for 64 years. Invite wheat consumers, millers, bakers, farmers and others within the trade from everywhere in the world, load up 4 to a automobile and drive a predetermined route throughout the state of Kansas — and into Nebraska and Oklahoma. Alongside the best way, every carload stops at wheat fields to take measurements of the crop, in addition to notice any weeds or pests, fungal illnesses and different crop circumstances.
Every passenger writes down his or her measurements from the cease, and people are tabulated with a system from the USDA Nationwide Agricultural Statistics Service that accounts for the wheat’s stage of growth and different variables. The result’s an estimated yield for that exact wheat area if all of the circumstances are the identical to harvesttime.
Think about it a snapshot in time, if you’ll.
These outcomes are then averaged with all the opposite vehicles on all the opposite routes for a mean quantity on the finish of every day, when the vehicles cease for supper. On the finish of three days of touring and measuring, there’s a remaining crop estimate introduced. That remaining yield estimate and stories from the sector are helpful insights for farmers, grain consumers, millers and bakers.
Final 12 months, due to pandemic precautions, the tour had to change to a digital format. As an alternative of carloads of strangers from across the globe, consultants from Kansas State College Extension and Kansas Wheat took to the highways to measure consultant fields and supply updates over webinars every day. It wasn’t an official quantity, nevertheless it did present the trade with an total really feel for the winter wheat crop’s growth earlier than harvest.
Dave Inexperienced, Wheat High quality Council government director, coordinates the tour every year. The council introduced that with speedy growth in vaccinations, some vaccinated drivers have been keen to take passengers so long as they, too, have been vaccinated. In any other case, to ensure that the tour to proceed, every participant was going to have to drive his or her personal automobile throughout the state.
The wheat tour kicks off shiny and early Tuesday, with vehicles touring their predetermined Kansas routes from Manhattan to Colby, alongside the northern a part of the state and into Nebraska.
Then, the tour will swing south, on predetermined Kansas routes from Colby to Wichita, the place outcomes can be tallied Wednesday. Some routes will even dip into Oklahoma for a take a look at the winter crop within the northern a part of that state.
Lastly, the vehicles will head from Wichita again to Manhattan Might 20, with a remaining estimate of the winter wheat crop introduced round midday Central time.
Comply with the Kansas Wheat Twitter account, @farmer_kansas, for outcomes from the tour. Look ahead to highlights from Kansas Wheat, KSU Extension and others as they crisscross the state.