Kansas Wheat and Kansas State University Research and Extension, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Agriculture and other industry partners, have announced plans to hold a virtual tour of hard red winter (HRW) wheat in the state May 18 to 21, 2020.
In a news release this week, Kansas Wheat noted that there is always a lot of interest in the condition and yield potential of the new U.S. HRW crop, with particular attention to the Wheat Quality Council (WQC) Hard Winter Wheat Tour in May. That event, conducted annually for the past 50 years aims to give a snapshot of the crop to those who attend, including international buyers, wheat farmers, flour millers and others in the wheat industry.
Unfortunately, with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WQC tour had to be cancelled this year.
While the virtual tour will be based loosely on the familiar WQC concept, there will be no caravans of cars traveling across wheat country. Alternatively, certified crop advisors, extension agents, elevator managers, farmers and others will be in the fields to make observations of the crop and report results publicly on the Zoom video conference platform. Twitter has been a popular way to follow the tour in the pasts and will be again during this virtual tour by following #wheattour20.
The virtual tour will begin Monday afternoon, May 18, at 4:00 p.m. CDT, with an orientation and comments from industry representatives including Aaron Harries, VP of Research and Operations, Kansas Wheat who will provide an overview of crop conditions and this year’s yield formula provided by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The formula will not be available prior to that time. Dr. Romulo Lollato, Wheat and Forages Production Specialist, Kansas State University, and Jeanne Falk Jones, Multi-County Specialist, Northwest Research-Extension Center, Kansas State University, will discuss this year’s crop and talk about weather challenges, including drought and freeze injury as well as disease pressure such as from stripe rust.
As it is in the WQC tour, data will be gathered Tuesday from fields in north central and northwest Kansas. The Day 1 wrap-up meeting Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. CDT, will summarize the day’s observations and provide an estimated yield potential using the formula provided by USDA/NASS. Day 2 will continue through west central and southwest Kansas, and day 3 will focus on south central and central Kansas. Daily wrap-ups will be provided each afternoon at 4:00 p.m. CDT, with a final crop discussion Thursday afternoon, May 21.
To see more information, view the schedule and sign up to receive invitations to the Zoom discussions, visit https://kswheat.com/virtualtour.