Monday, January 27, 2014
Wheat Acreage Down
"WASHINGTON — Winter wheat acreage estimates were well below projected trade ranges and could set the stage for increased corn and soybean acres. John Roach disagrees and thinks corn acres could be down 5 million or more this year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated winter wheat acreage of 41.892 million acres compared to 43.09 million in 2013 and 41.224 million acres in 2012.
Winter wheat acreage in Illinois is estimated at 740,000, down from 875,000 in 2013, but up from 660,000 two years ago.
The USDA estimated 430,000 Indiana winter wheat acres, 40,000 less than in 2013. Indiana had just 350,000 winter wheat acres in 2012. Ohio is usually closer to a million acres but has been down to near this amount in recent years, too. This year, 640,000 acres are reported.
Iowa saw a jump in winter wheat acres from 18,000 in 2012 to 30,000 last year. This year’s acreage is projected at 25,000. I never considered Iowa a wheat state, but a corn and soybean state.
Kansas leads the nation in winter wheat acres with 8.8 million. Even though Kansas is the Sunflower state, it's always been our number one wheat state.
“Winter wheat can survive cold temperatures well as long as soil temperatures at the depth of the crown are not in the single digits for a prolonged period of time,” Shroyer said.
“Winter wheat typically has its highest level of winter hardiness in December and January,” he said. “Leaves on wheat exposed to very cold temperatures may turn brown and die back somewhat, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the entire plant is dead. Soil temperature is a more important consideration than air temperature alone during the winter.”
In most cases so far, soil temperatures have not been cold enough to create concern for the wheat, Shroyer said. However, there are areas of concern, especially where soils are dry. For example, soil temperatures at the 2-inch depth reached 9 degrees on Jan. 5 at Scandia, in Republic County.
Will this cause some winter kill in those areas?
“It’s too soon to know, but the situation should be monitored—especially on terrace tops and north-facing slopes. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some damage to the wheat in parts of north central Kansas where soil temperatures were this low,” he said.
The bottom line is, it's a long time until wheat harvest and a lot will happen before then.