There is no doubt that there's a challenged Kansas winter wheat harvest in the fields and harvest is likely to be very disappointing -- or non-existent in some parts of the state.
The numbers from Day 2 of the Kansas Hard Red Winter Wheat Quality Tour, however, were more upbeat than the Day 1 forecast which indicated the 2015 harvest might actually be worse than 2014, which was the worst harvest in 30 years in Kansas.
The average from the Day 2 total of 305 stops made by 92 tour participants crossing the state on six routes in 21 cars, was 34.5 bushels per acre, a significant improvement over the Day 2 average from 2014, which came in at 30.8 bushels.
For both days of the tour, the average yield was forecast at 34.4 bushels per acre, a total arrived at from 589 stops in wheat fields across the state. That two-day total was a slight improvement over the 2-day average of 32.8 bushels from the 2014 tour.
Participants in the tour included representatives from every segment of the industry: producers, researchers, statisticians, market analysts, grain handlers and marketers, millers and bakers. They came from all over the U.S. as well as from Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, France and Mexico.
On Day 1, the greatest abandonment or probable abandonment was noted in the northern part of the tour through Phillips, Smith and Rooks counties. On Day 2, the most challenged areas were in the far west and southwest counties: Greeley, Logan, Kearney and Hamilton.
The traditional areas of greatest state production in the south central region showed some challenges from late freeze and winter and spring drought stress but showed promise of at least average yields and in many places better than average, especially in light of this week's soaking rains.
Most tour participants agreed that the winter wheat harvest in the south will begin in about 30 to 40 days, while further north it is 45 to 50 days out.
The Hard Red Winter Wheat Quality tour will end at noon today in Kansas City, where the Wheat Quality Council will announce the tour's official prediction for the total Kansas wheat harvest of 2015. The official USDA estimate of the crop will be released later this month.
More in this series
Manhattan floats as Hard Red Winter Wheat Quality Tour kicks off
All aboard the annual Hard Red Winter Wheat Quality Council tour
Shocking numbers: Winter wheat crop even worse than last year
Hard Red Winter Wheat Tour Day 2 brings better news
Tour sees Kansas winter wheat harvest of 288.5 million bushels
Muddin' and storm dodging keep winter wheat tour lively