There is no better time to get a good look at the condition of the 2014 winter wheat crop and an idea of what kind of yields might be expected across the state than at the annual Hard Winter Wheat Quality Tour coming up April 28 to May 1.
The tour serves as an educational and networking opportunity for those who attend. Participants, many of whom are entry level employees of milling and trading companies, gain a firsthand understanding of what it takes for farmers to grow, manage, harvest and market the crop.
These tours are a tremendous learning experience for any new people in the industry. They are also a great mentoring opportunity since each car on the tour has a tour veteran that can help teach any newcomers, says Ben Hancock of the Wheat Quality Council.
A great learning experience
This training and mentoring opportunity is an extremely good value for the amount of fundamental wheat industry knowledge that a person can acquire in just three short days, Hancock says.
Many foreign buyers of Kansas wheat will participate, giving those folks a chance to see the high quality of the Kansas crop, he adds.
More than 600 crop evaluations will be made in wheat fields throughout the state, and yield estimates made using a formula developed by the National Agriculture Statistics Service.
"I think many people are overestimating this crop in many ways," said Hancock. "We're not getting any rain. We need a couple inches in central and western Kansas."
The current wheat crop has been struck with effects of winterkill and the drought. The extent of damage will be assessed during the wheat quality tour.
"People are going to see wind damage like they haven't seen in a long time," Hancock said. "They better come look."
This is a good year for agricultural organizations to encourage participation in the tour, he said, because a better educated wheat industry is beneficial to the entire industry.
Registration for the Hard Winter Wheat Quality Tour are being accepted until April 11. To register for the tour, visit the Wheat Quality Council website.