The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 12, 2014

Fewer acres of winter wheat planted in Oklahoma

Staff reports
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Oklahoma farmers have planted fewer acres of winter wheat they plan to harvest this spring.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, state farmers planted 5.3 million acres of wheat for the 2014 crop, down 5 percent from the 5.6 million acres planted for the 2013 crop.

That follows the national trend, which shows 41.9 million acres of winter wheat planted, down from 43.09 million acres for the 2013 crop year.

Kansas, the country’s largest wheat-producing state, saw seeded acres fall 7 percent this crop year, down to 8.8 million acres.

In Oklahoma, the north central region, which includes Garfield, Grant, Alfalfa, Major, Woods, Woodward, Kay and Noble counties, remains the largest-wheat growing area. In the region, 1.4 million acres of wheat have been planted, down from 1.6 million acres for the 2013 crop.

Seedings for the 2014 crop follow on the heels of a crop that saw 105.4 million bushels produced in Oklahoma last year. That was down considerably from the 154.8 million bushels produced in the 2012 crop.

Last year’s crop was impacted by the continued drought in parts of the state, particularly the southwest, and several days of freezing temperatures in April.

Yields also were down statewide last year. The average yield was 31 bushels an acre, down from 36 bushels an acre for the 2012 crop.

Harvested acres fell to 3.4 million acres in 2013, down from 4.3 million acres in 2012.

Oklahoma’s wheat production has been on a roller coaster in recent years, and has been affected at times by drought, late freezes and too much rain at harvest time. Production has been: 2008, 166.5 million bushels; 2009, 77 million bushels; 2010, 120.9 million bushels; 2011, 70.4 million bushels; 2012, 154.8 million bushels; and 2013, 105.4 million bushels.

On the other hand, canola production skyrocketed last year, with 208.6 million pounds harvested in Oklahoma, up 30 percent from 161 million pounds in 2012. Yields averaged 3,700 pounds per acre, up slightly from 3,650 pounds per acre in 2012.

Oklahoma farmers planted considerably more acres of canola in 2013, hitting 205 million acres, compared to 140 million acres in 2012. Farmers harvested 149 million acres of canola last year, up from 115 million acres in 2012.