Purchase photos

Forecasters lower wheat estimate





Crop forecasters didn't smile too kindly on Kansas, dropping estimates by 9 million bushels.

Based on conditions as of July 1, forecasters put the size of the state's wheat crop at 235 million bushels, according to Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"Average yield is forecast at 28 bushels per acre, down 10 bushels from last year and the lowest yield since 1995," KASS reported in its estimate released Friday.

A month ago, the forecast stood at 235 million bushels of wheat.

Ironically, the forecast was buoyed by stronger estimates from the western part of the state.

Still, the forecast there isn't bright, with yields in all three western Kansas crop reporting districts estimated at 22.5 bushels per acre. Production is still forecast to exceed last year's dismal harvest.

The report isn't showing a lot of abandonment in the western reaches of the state.

Production in the central crop-reporting district, which includes Ellis County, fell since June, according to the estimate by nearly 500,000 bushels.

Yields are expected to average 31.5 bushels per acre, but that's sharply lower than last year's 46.7 bushels.