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Source: Planalytics news release

BERWWN, PA - "If current projections hold true, 2020 could see near-trend Winter Wheat yields, but well below last year's crop." This is one of the observations from Planalytics' initial GreenReport Winter Wheat Yield Forecasts that utilize satellite imagery to measure current crop vigor in combination with historic yields.

Produced in collaboration with TerraMetrics Agriculture, Inc., Planalytics initial national estimate of 49.1 bushels per acre represents a decrease of 4.5 bushels from last year's national average of 53.6 bu/ac, the second highest yielding crop on record.

"Our satellite vegetation greenness model suggests near-trend potential, largely due to a Great Plains crop that is in good shape as it emerges from dormancy," stated Jude Kastens, PhD, Research Associate Professor at the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program (KARS) located at the University of Kansas. Kastens is senior analyst on the joint Planalytics/TerraMetrics project that dates back nearly 20 years and includes forecasting yields on a bi-weekly basis for corn, soybeans and five other summer crops in addition to winter wheat.

Kansas, which has accounted for 23 percent of total U.S. winter wheat production over the last 10 years, is only 0.2 bu/ac below trend, but 5.5 bu/ac below last year's bumper crop. "The 2020 Kansas crop enters spring in a similar position to last year's crop. A late fall harvest resulted in late winter wheat planting across much of the state," said Kastens. "Though moisture was adequate and emergence generally good, dryness led to limited growth before dormancy set in." Fortunately, a wet and mild winter carried the crop through dormancy with few problems, including very little winter kill.

"There is at least one weather threat to keep an eye on," adds Jed Lafferty, Managing Director, Planalytics Life Sciences. "Dryness is expanding outward from eastern Colorado into not just western Kansas, but also toward Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma". Oklahoma and Texas combine to produce 12 percent of the winter wheat and currently have some of the most mature wheat in the country, particularly Texas. Current USDA crop condition reports rate both states' winter wheat crops above average.

Droughty conditions are starting to negatively impact an appreciable fraction of winter wheat fields in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, though the crop in that region of the country is just starting to emerge from winter dormancy. With nearly 1.7 million harvested acres, Washington ranks second to Kansas with 8 percent of the winter wheat crop.

Eight bi-weekly crop yield forecasts are provided for each crop and are available on an annual subscription basis. For more information, go to, or contact Planalytics at 800.882.5881, extension 245.

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