McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

May 9, 2014

Wheat crop: Forecast looks ‘pretty dismal’

Oklahoma’s winter wheat crop is forecast to be just 62.7 million bushels — down 41 percent from last year, according to the May forecast from U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Last year’s wheat crop came in at 105.4 million bushels.

The yield statewide also is expected to be way down, coming in at only 19 bushels an acre, compared to 31 bushels an acre last year, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

“That’s pretty dismal,” said Rick Nelson, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service ag educator for Garfield County. “Drought and freeze have taken their toll on this wheat crop. It’s not unexpected, but not what we want to see or hear.”

North central Oklahoma, which includes Garfield County, traditionally is the top wheat-producing region in the state, and is expected to be so again. NASS forecasts the region to produce 24.5 million bushels of wheat, down from 48.5 million bushels last year. Yield is expected to be better than the state average, at 22.5 bushels an acre, but considerably lower than last year’s yield of 37.7 bushels an acre.

Even if weather conditions change, Nelson said, wheat plants have reached the point in their maturation process there won’t be much of a positive impact on yields.

“It could get worse,” he said, if hot and dry conditions continue.

He said he expects crop insurance adjusters soon will be releasing a lot of acres, and producers will graze cattle on the wheat or cut it and bale it for hay.

The USDA forecast is a little lower than the forecast given by crop advisers at the recent Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association annual meeting. That prediction came in at 66.5 million bushels.

Oklahoma is not the only wheat-producing state to seen crop estimates fall.

Kansas, the nation’s top wheat state, is forecast to harvest 260.4 million bushels, down from 319.2 million bushels last year. Texas also is expected to see a drop to 55.1 million bushels from last year’s 65.2 million bushels.

Colorado is forecast to see a sizeable increase in wheat harvested. The forecast calls for 84.2 million bushels, up from 44.3 million bushels last year.

Nationwide, the winter wheat forecast is 1.4 billion bushels, down 9 percent from last year.

The continued drought also could impact summer crops, Nelson said, which will be planted soon. However, it’s too dry for farmers to till their fields, he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State House
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
NDN Video
'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.