Kentucky Expected Wheat Production Down 23 Percent
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its May Crop Production report today based on the Agricultural Yield survey conducted at the beginning of the month.
Kentucky farmers expect to harvest 24.5 million bushels of winter wheat during 2017. The expected crop for 2017 would be down 23 percent from the previous year. Farmers seeded 490,000 acres last fall with 350,000 acres to be harvested for grain. Based on crop conditions as of May 1 and assuming a normal growing season, farmers expect a yield of 70 bushels per acre, down 10 bushels from 2016. Acres for other uses totaled 140,000 acres and will be used as cover crop for tobacco or cut as silage or hay.
“The March freeze diminished both yield potential and number of harvested acres for grain,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “Some farmers chose not to harvest their wheat for grain, and the remaining acreage is forecast to yield below the average for the last five years. Despite those factors, the outlook is more optimistic than in the first several days following temperatures in the 20s.”
Knopf added that wheat is maturing much faster than normal.
“On May 7, 88 percent of the crop was headed, compared with the five-year average of 55 percent,” he said. “This advanced stage of development should provide a good indication of yield when the next forecast is published June 9.”
Current Wheat Conditions
As of May 7, winter wheat was rated five percent very poor, 16 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 45 percent good and seven percent excellent.
Winter wheat production for the Nation was forecast at 1.25 billion bushels, down 25 percent from 2016. The expected area to be harvested for grain or seed totals 25.6 million acres, down 15 percent from last year. As of May 1, the U.S. yield was forecast at 48.8 bushels per acre, down 6.5 bushels from last year.