Farmer and Industry Leader Don Schieber Reports on Current Wheat Crop Conditions, Dry WeatherThu, 22 Feb 2018 15:41:08 CST
Don Schieber, a wheat farmer from northcentral Oklahoma and member of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, was interviewed on the sidelines of the Wheat Quality Council meeting happening this week in Kansas City. Schieber talked about current wheat crop conditions in his local area - a traditional wheat county - which in fact, farmed more acres of soybeans in 2017 than wheat. Listen to his full interview by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
According to Schieber, two of the four Oklahoma counties he farms in have received very little to no rain since this past fall. However, his home property and that near Tulsa recently soaked up over a full inch of precipitation just recently putting those acres he says, ‘in pretty good shape.’
“The wheat in our area is very small and it’s dormant right now. So, it’s not really using a whole lot of moisture,” Schieber said. “We’ve got fairly decent subsoil moisture, but right on top it’s pretty dry.”
Though that might be the opposite of what you would expect, Schieber says most of the wheat around him went in the ground as no-till, which has allowed the sub-surface soil to retain a relatively fair amount of moisture compared to the top soil with the most exposure to the dry environmental conditions. Much of the wheat, too, was late planted after a rather large soybean crop for Kay County. He reports local farmers produced 165,000 acres of soybeans this past year, and only 145,000 in wheat. He believes this trend may continue for the next few years at least until the wheat markets are able to work through the glut of wheat stocks currently being stored. Right now, however, for farmers who did plant wheat, Schieber says the focus is on quality not quantity. But many fear the dry conditions have hurt the crop’s progress.
“We’re seeing a lot of emergence,” he reassured, but clarified. “Now, some of the early planted wheat was clean-tilled and didn’t come up. I’m not sure that it will… now. The further west you go the worse it gets and there’s probably a lot of wheat in those areas that aren’t going to make it.”
Nonetheless, Schieber is fairly confident Oklahomans still have a chance at an average crop. But, again he reiterates that the key to moving any wheat on the market will take a high-quality product this year to blend with what is in storage now. Schieber regrets, though, that we are still a couple years away from seeing markets regulate and return to their normal balance.
Source - Interview courtesy of Oklahoma Wheat Commission and Oklahoma Genetics, Inc.
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