Ninety-five participants from all types of professions, including millers, bakers, producers, traders, government, education and media, took a three-day tour of Kansas wheat fields this past week. The tour is a training course for some and for others it’s a way to gauge how the wheat is doing.
“This tour is pretty important for the people that participate in it,” Executive Vice President of Wheat Quality Council Dave Green said. “For some of us, we go out and see how the wheat is doing and try to make an estimation on how much wheat will be produced.” For those who have never been in a wheat field, the tour becomes a different sort of training course. “They get to see where food comes from and they get a better understanding of agriculture.”
Green said the wheat is not looking as good as last year’s crop. It is shorter than normal due to cool temperatures in spring and the lack of moisture.
“This year’s wheat is not looking as good as it should be,” Green said. “The wheat should be a lot taller than it currently is. We need more rain like we had yesterday over the next 60 days. The wheat is a mixed bag to say the least. In some areas it looks good and some places it is pretty poor.”
Participants made 317 stops in northern and south-central Kansas. They estimated a yield of 38.2 bushels per acre. This compares with 222 stops last year, which saw a 43 bushel per acre average.
“This year compared to last year the wheat is behind, but this can change if we get some rain and warmer days,” Green said. “This is what we need to turn this around — some proper weather that the crops need.”
The tour was hosted by the Wheat Quality Council out of Kansas City, Kansas.
Wheat Quality Council
The Wheat Quality Council is an old organization with a new, much-broader focus. Founded in 1938 , it has a long and distinguished history of evaluating wheat for milling and end-use quality.
In 1993-1994, the spring wheat and soft wheat groups were merged under the Council umbrella - a new Wheat Quality Council was born. The Council is now testing the milling and end-use qualities of hard winter, hard spring , durum and soft wheats - nationwide.
The merger has broadened influence, reduced costs, improved communication and encouraged broader industry support. The Wheat Quality Council can impact the future quality of wheat flour and flour based products in this country.
The goal of the Wheat Quality Council is to improve the value of all U.S. wheat classes for producers, millers, and processors of wheat.
• To advocate the development of cultivars which enhance end use quality of wheats for all U.S. wheat classes. Provide forums for breeders, producers, and industry members to discuss desired characteristics and evaluation of wheat. Provide recognition of those making positive contributions to these wheat developments.
• To communicate industry needs and the importance of meeting end-user needs to breeders, producers, traders of wheat, and all U.S. wheat organizations (all segments of the wheat industry). This will be accomplished by providing forums at all official Wheat Quality Council functions, keeping the website current, and by providing newsletters/information to all segments.
• To encourage broad participation by all members of the wheat industry by having a diverse membership of at least 50 percent of potential members in each membership category.
• To offer advice to and support for State Wheat Quality Labs and USDA-ARS Wheat Quality Labs.