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#WheatTour24: Final thoughts

Aaron Harries, Kansas Wheat, shares the final estimates and some thoughts to close out the 2024 Wheat Tour in Kansas.

Jennifer M. Latzke, Editor

May 17, 2024

6 Min View

The Wheat Quality Council's annual Hard Winter Wheat Tour is done and in the books. This year, 70 participants from the milling and baking industry, government agencies Kansas State University, and of course joined by Kansas farmers, drove across the state and back over three days. They took a total of 449 stops, measuring the wheat and using USDA-NASS calculations to determine its yield potential as of tour time. 

Over the three days, the tour's average yield calculated was 46.5 bushels per acre, with a lot of variability in the crop across the state, and even within fields themselves. The tour participants estimate that the 2024 Kansas wheat crop, as of today, has a yield potential for 290.4 million bushels. That's up considerably from last year's total. 

Aaron Harries, Vice President of Operations and Research for Kansas Wheat spoke with Jennifer Latzke, editor of Kansas Farmer magazine, about the final tour estimate and the crop conditions the tour observed May 13-16. If you've got wheat crop condition reports you'd like to send in, email [email protected].  

About the Author(s)

Jennifer M. Latzke

Editor, Kansas Farmer

Through all her travels, Jennifer M. Latzke knows that there is no place like Kansas.

Jennifer grew up on her family’s multigenerational registered Angus seedstock ranch and diversified farm just north of Woodbine, Kan., about 30 minutes south of Junction City on the edge of the Kansas Flint Hills. Rock Springs Ranch State 4-H Center was in her family’s backyard.

While at Kansas State University, Jennifer was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority and a national officer for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She graduated in May 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and a minor in animal science. In August 2000 Jennifer started her 20-year agricultural writing career in Dodge City, Kan., on the far southwest corner of the state.

She’s traveled across the U.S. writing on wheat, sorghum, corn, cotton, dairy and beef stories as well as breaking news and policy at the local, state and national levels. Latzke has traveled across Mexico and South America with the U.S. Wheat Associates and toured Vietnam as a member of KARL Class X. She’s traveled to Argentina as one of 10 IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism. And she was part of a delegation of AAEA: The Ag Communicators Network members invited to Cuba.

Jennifer’s an award-winning writer, columnist, and podcaster, recognized by the Kansas Professional Communicators, Kansas Press Association, the National Federation of Presswomen, Livestock Publications Council, and AAEA. In 2019, Jennifer reached the pinnacle of achievements, earning the title of “Writer of Merit” from AAEA.

Trips and accolades are lovely, but Jennifer says she is happiest on the road talking to farmers and ranchers and gathering stories and photos to share with readers.

“It’s an honor and a great responsibility to be able to tell someone’s story and bring them recognition for their work on the land,” Jennifer says. “But my role is also evolving to help our more urban neighbors understand the issues our Kansas farmers face in bringing the food and fiber to their store shelves.”

She spends her time gardening, crafting, watching K-State football, and cheering on her nephews and niece in their 4-H projects. She can be found on Twitter at @Latzke.

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