Forecast: Smallest Kansas wheat crop since 1996

Wheat Field (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Participants in this year’s winter wheat tour are estimating the 2014 Kansas wheat crop will be the smallest since 1996.

The Wheat Quality Council Hard Winter Wheat Tour on Thursday forecast this year’s production at 260 million bushels, with an average estimated yield of 33.2 bushels per acre.

The industry group Kansas Wheat reports the estimates are calculated from 587 stops this week by scouts who fanned out across the state in 20 vans.

The yield estimates look at the crop’s current condition and assume decent moisture and average temperatures from now until harvest.

Government statistics estimate Kansas farmers harvested 319.2 million bushels of winter wheat last year with average yields of 38 bushels an acre.

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