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Jewell County farmers plant 122,800 acres of wheat in 2012

Jewell County Record of Mankato, Kansas

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Kansas Wheat production was 382.2 million bushels in 2012, up 38 percent from 2011. Average yield was estimated at 42 bushels per acre, seven bushels above the previous year. Acres harvested for grain totaled 9.1 million, up 15 percent from 2011. A total of 9.5 million acres were planted to wheat in the fall of 2011, eight percent above the previous year.

Wheat seeding began the second week of September, 2011, and was ahead of average by mid-October. By Nov. 6,99 percent of the crop had been seeded. Wheat emergence was ahead of average by mid-October and continued that way the next six weeks, and by Nov. 27 was 97 percent emerged. At that time wheat condition was rated 47 percent good to excellent, 40 percent fair and 13 percent poor to very poor, compared to only 37 percent good to excellent a year earlier. Topsoil moisture condition showed improvement throughout the wheat planting season and by late November was 56 percent adequate to surplus and only 44 percent very short to short.

Most of the state received much needed moisture during December. The western half of Kansas received snow with amounts of more than a foot in some areas. January was unusually warm, dry and windy causing soil moisture and winter wheat condition to decline. Most of the state received moisture in verying amounts during February. Wheat condition improved slightly due to mile temperatures and the much needed precipitation. The condition of the crop was rated 52 percent good to excellent by the end of February compared to 25 percent last year. By Feb. 26, topsoil moisture was rated 64 percent adequate to surplus, compared to 57 percent a year earlier.

Wheat started breaking dormancy in late February because of unseasonably warm temperatures across Kansas. The first three weeks in March were windy and temperatures were above normal with several areas meeting -new record highs. The warm weather helped the wheat crop to grow quickly, reaching 61 percent jointed by the end of March compared to 21 percent from the five-year average.

Record temperatures continued into April and caused the wheat crop to develop three weeks ahead of average. The crop started heading the second week of April and was 74 percent headed by April 29 well ahead of the five-year average of seven percent. Widespread rain the second week of April again improved both wheat condition and soil moisture ratings. Top-soil moisture in the adequate to surplus rating was 79 percent by the end of April compared to 58 percent a year earlier. The crop's condition was rated 62 percent good to excellent by the end of April compared to 21 percent last year. Temperatures in Kansas during May were above normal and even record breaking at some locations.

May, 2012, ranks as the third warmest on record for Kansas, with the warmest occurring in 1962. Most of the state received little precipitation during the month. Preliminary statewide average precipitation for May was 1.1 inches, which is only 26 percent of normal, and ranks 2012 as the second driest May since 1895. Topsoil moisture ratings declined through the month and then went up slightly due to scattered showers at the end of the month. On June 3 topsoil moisture was rated only 35 percent adequate to surplus compared to 63 percent adequate to surplus a year earlier.

The wheat crop continued to progress two to three weeks ahead of normal as harvest began in southern Kansas the week of May 20. This harvest is the earliest on record with the second earliest in 1962 when one percent was harvested the week ending June,2. Harvest was 20 percent complete by June 3 with at least some wheat harvested in all districts. The crop was 62 percent mature by June 3 compared to eight percent a year earlier and the five year average of two percent. Hot, windy conditions continued into June as temperatures were above normal the entire month. Statewide showers the second week of June only delayed harvest slightly as 80 percent of the crop was harvested by June 17 compared to the five year average of seven percent. Harvest was 99 percent complete by July 1.

Jewell County had 122,800 acres of planted wheat with 119,500 acres harvested for grain. Average yield was 46.9 bushels per acre with 5,605,000 bushels produced.

Sumner County was the top producing county in the state with 17.9 million bushels produced. McPherson County was the second leading producer with 11.3 million bushels, followed by Reno County with 10.8 million bushels, Harper County with 9.1 million and Sedgwick County with 8.8 million bushels.

Sumner County lead in the harvested acres category with 375,500 total acres. Crawford County had the highest average yield with 61.6 bushels per acre breaking the record 50.0 bushels per acre set in 2003 and 1997.

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Original Publication Date: January 3, 2013

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