Wheat yields in central Kansas were estimated at 43.8 bushels an acre after a survey of 277 fields by analysts, farmers and grain traders participating in an annual three-day tour of the state’s crop.
A year earlier, the average yield was 44 bushels an acre in the central district of the state and 44.5 bushels in the north-central region, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed. Temperatures in the first 18 days of April in central counties were the fourth coldest since record keeping began in 1895, and those in the north-central region were the most frigid ever, Mary Knapp, a state climatologist, said last week.
“We are seeing fields with freeze damage, but if the crop gets rain, we can get a decent crop,” Julia Debes, a spokeswoman at Arlington, Virginia-based U.S. Wheat Associates, said in an interview. “As we travel westward, conditions have deteriorated quickly.”
About 75 growers, grain traders and industry analysts are touring the state, the biggest grower of winter wheat in the U.S., to determine yields for the crop.
On the Kansas City Board of Trade, wheat futures for July delivery rose 1.8 percent to settle at $7.895 a bushel. Earlier, the price reached $7.99, the highest for a most-active contract since Feb. 11. The price has dropped 5 percent this year, partly on speculation that global grain production will increase.