Tracking the 2013 Wheat Tour

 

Much has been made of what to expect from wheat crops this year with much of the U.S. Great Plains receiving unusually low levels of moisture after the 2012 drought and little snowfall in the early winter months. The annual Kansas Wheat Tour held this week might help provide some clarity to the picture. The tour, organized by the Wheat Quality Council, was made up of 77 crop scouts who spread across Kansas over three days to survey the crop, and give an estimate for production. Some additional information describing the value of the 56 year-old tour:

“Originally, the crop tour was a field  day event, used as a chance to take customers out in the fields and introduce  them to the growth cycle of wheat and the progress of the crop. It has now  evolved into the present-day estimations of how many bushels this year’s  harvest will produce.”

The tour is widely followed and valuable to wheat markets overall due to Kansas’ position as the top wheat producer in the U.S. The state produces about 18 percent of the U.S. wheat crop on 8.8 million acres of land, according to Kansas Wheat.  This year the tour incorporated a heavy dose of social media, which included the hashtag #WheatTour13.  We followed the tweets (and corresponding photos) throughout the tour. Here’s a chronology, which capped off a statewide average of 41.1 bushels per acre, down eight bushels from 2012:

 

 

Day one

 

Day two

 

Day three

 

Katie Micik, Markets editor at DTN, posted this sketch of the routes surveyors took through Kansas:

 

 

Read the reports from each day of the survey here.

 

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