Schulte Skeptical of USDA's Latest Outlook on OKs Wheat Crop, Pegs Numbers as Slightly OptimisticTue, 16 Oct 2018 12:45:44 CDT
Oklahoma producers are now roughly halfway into this planting season window for the 2019 winter wheat crop. According to the latest data out from USDA-NASS, Oklahoma is approximately two-thirds of the way through getting its winter wheat crop in the ground. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays sat down with Mike Schulte, executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Council, this week to talk about what he has heard from the industry regarding this year’s crop and the previous one. Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“USDA this week has us at 66% planted. They’re saying that 50% of the crop across the state is emerged. I think those numbers seem maybe a little bit high,” Schulte said. “But, talking with producers across the state, I think we’re probably pretty much in line with those planted acres.”
Nonetheless, Schulte agrees that producers are seeing early planted fields reacting to the abundant rainfall that has accrued over the past few weeks with rapid emergence statewide, which has started to prompt some concerns of how much more moisture can the crop take on now that is has sprouted.
“There is still a lot of concern going into the remainder of the season about - ‘am I going to be able to get on the ground to get what I have left to plant and how much more am I going to have to go back over again to make sure I have good stands,’” Schulte remarked, pointing out that several areas will likely warrant reseeding.
Some farmers who elected to sow their fields early and have already put down their applications to ward off armyworms, Schulte says, undoubtedly have a good stand of wheat pasture right now. Some of them are even getting the opportunity to turn cattle out to graze. Others, however, are holding off- afraid that their fields are too wet and that cattle might track them out. Much of what is left to plant at this time though is likely going to be for grain purposes only.
In review of the previous crop in 2018, Schulte says he was surprised to see USDA’s estimates adjusted up at the last-minute bringing Oklahoma’s total production from 55 million bu. predicted in August to 70 million bu. in the agency’s last report. USDA also increased total acres in Oklahoma from 2.2 million to 2.5 million and bumped yields from 25 bu./ac. to 28 bu./ac.
“I think it remains to be seen if those numbers are really actually going to be out there,” he said. “Based off what I’ve seen and talking with the industry, I think these numbers are still a little bit high.
“Certainly, I think we might have gotten an increase in acres, but I think the yield increase for this crop is still a little optimistic.”
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