Arkansas wheat harvest comes in at 56 bushels per acre, drop from last year
By Dave Edmark
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
- Total harvest was 340,000 acres
- No surprise that rain caused drop in yield
- Production was 24.9 million bushels
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The rainy weather of recent months had its impact on the 2015 what harvest in Arkansas, which came in at 340,000 acres, down from last year’s harvest of 395,000 acres, according to figures released this week by U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The yield averaged out to 56 bushels per acre as of June 1 compared to 63 bushels per acre a year ago. Total production in 2015 was 19.04 million bushels after reaching about 24.9 million bushels in 2014.
“It’s not a surprise. The yields were estimated to be down with the wet spring we’ve endured,” said Jason Kelley, extension wheat and small grains agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “I expect that 56 bushels per acre is pretty close to where we would be this year. The yield potential has been reduced because of too much water.”
Kelley explained that in February and March, farmers were trying to fertilize the crop but the rain delayed their application of nitrogen, resulting in reduced yields in some fields. Poor drainage in some areas also hurt the yield.
Also, Kelley noted, wheat prices are down since last year, although up somewhat in the past few weeks. The combination of lower prices and lower yields hurts the farmers.
Still, Kelley didn’t see any cause for concern about long-term trends if the weather cooperates. Over time, the yield levels go up and down and the overall picture remains good. “On average, we are increasing our overall state average yield by three-quarters of a bushel a year. The trend is upward. It wouldn’t be unheard of to get higher than 63 bushels if we get the right weather.”
For more information on wheat production visit www.uaex.edu or contact your county
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U of A Division of Agriculture
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