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Agricultural News

Crop Scouts Gather on Zoom- Predict 96.5 Million Bushel Oklahoma Wheat Crop

Tue, 05 May 2020 15:38:01 CDT

Crop Scouts Gather on Zoom- Predict 96.5 Million Bushel Oklahoma Wheat Crop The 2020 Wheat Crop is holding on- waiting for a good drink of water. That seemed to be one of the key take home messages out of the 2020 Oklahoma Wheat Crop Report session that was held for the first time in years in a venue other than the annual meeting of the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, that meeting was cancelled and Oklahoma State Extension teamed up with the Grain and Feed Association, the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association and the Oklahoma Wheat Commission to stage a ZOOM online version of the event.

Hosted by OSU State Wheat Specialist Dr. Amanda Silva, the Tuesday morning session heard over and over from Extension Personnel and Grain Industry experts that lack of rain has either already severely damaged the crop, as is the case in the Panhandle west of Hooker in Texas County or has the crop at a tipping point- needing rain and needing it soon.

Add to that concern the significant damage in many locations south of I-40 from the April 15th freeze event- and you end up with a prediction of a wheat crop that may be slightly under the ten year average for Oklahoma wheat production- 101 Million bushels.

Scouts expect wheat farmers to combine 2,910,787 acres starting in just a few weeks across Oklahoma- harvesting 33.16 bushels per acre which adds up to a 96.524 million bushel crop for 2020.

The counties that make up the North Central districts from the report session- stretching from Kay County on the east to Woodward and Woods county on the west- are expected to produce over 42 million of those bushels in 2020, and that's with the counties on the east side of that geography having a very average year for wheat production- and with many acres dedicated to other crops- Jeff Mitchell with Farmers Grain Company of Pond Creek saying farmers will be putting a lot of acres in this district into soybeans and even sesame. Jeff is one of several of the reporters who said the 2020 crop needs rain quick.

Custer County Extension Agent Ron Wright pointed at several spots in the west central district that he reported on as having lost many acres due to hail- the 2020 wheat crop in Washita Count will be the smaller for it.   

Gary Strickland, West Research and Extension Center Dry-land Cropping Systems Specialist, pointed to the freeze and dry conditions as hurting wheat potential in the southwest district- and Heath Sanders who has recently left Extension work to become a crop consultant with CHS spoke perhaps the most about the freeze, calling it unlike any freeze he has ever seen in the years he has worked with farmers growing wheat or canola. Sanders said in the northern fields of Caddo County- near Hydro and Hinton- the wheat crop still has wonderful potential- but farther south in Caddo County and then over into Grady, Stephens and Gavin Counties- it's a lot more grim because of April 15th and temperatures that dipped below freezing for a relatively short amount of time. The problem is that Mother Nature dropped those cold conditions right on top of wheat that was at it's most vulnerable stage- flowering- and freeze damage has taken away the hope of many farmers when it comes to raising a bumper crop in 2020.

You can hear Ron Hays offer an overview of the virtual session by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below-

And- you can watch the entire presentation by clicking on the PLAY button in the video box below.


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