The wheat harvest in Kansas will rebound 19 percent this year, according to findings from a crop tour, meaning favorable weather in the largest U.S. grower of the grain will likely exacerbate a global glut.
Output will rise to 382 million bushels, according to the average estimate of participants on a three-day annual crop tour organized by the Wheat Quality Council.
That compares with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2015 estimate of 322 million, after growers planted 7.6 percent less last September. Before the tour, the average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg forecast that production would decline to 319 million.
Showers in April revived crop prospects across the state and helped farmers avoid a developing drought, while above-normal temperatures warmed soil in February and March to prevent three separate freezes from damaging immature plants.
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Wheat prices are near the lowest since June 2010 after bumper harvests in the European Union, Russia, Ukraine and India pushed global reserves to a five-year high. Grain gluts are helping to keep world food costs in check.
“This year’s crop has the potential to be one of the best ever,” said Ben Handcock, the retiring 25-year executive vice president for the Wheat Quality Council. “It was better than expected, with limited freeze damage and plenty of fungicide applied to prevent disease. Farmers did a very good management job to preserve yield.”