Kansas Wheat Year in Review
Date Posted: December 21, 2011
Manhattan, KS—The year 2011 will long be remembered for the many successes to be celebrated in the wheat industry.
Here is the Kansas Wheat Year in Review.
The Kansas Wheat Innovation Center: The Kansas Wheat Commission broke ground on the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center (KWIC), a state-of-the-art wheat research/office complex being built in Manhattan. The 40,000 square-foot structure features 15,000 square feet of advanced wheat breeding laboratories, a 10,000 square-foot greenhouse complex and 15,000 square feet of office space. The center will house Heartland Plant Innovations (HPI), a Kansas Wheat initiative focused on developing new technologies for Kansas Wheat farmers. The staff of the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers also will be headquartered at the KWIC. Construction should be complete by December, 2012.
Oregon Woman Wins National Festival of Breads: Gale Collier, Redmond, Oregon, won the $2000 Grand Prize at the 2011 National Festival of Breads bread-baking competition in Wichita June 25. Collier's recipe, "Quick Raisin Granola Breakfast Rolls" was selected from among eight finalist recipes bake-tested at the public competition. Finalists descended upon Wichita from across the country to learn more about wheat production. Meanwhile, hundreds of Kansans came to the National Festival of Breads to attend baking demonstrations.
Wheat Crop High in Quality: The Kansas wheat crop totaled 273 million bushels, down 24% from 2010 and the lowest production since 2002. The 2011 crop was harvested from 7.8 million acres, the smallest area since 1957. Farmers harvested an average of 35 bushels per acre, the lowest yield since 2007. The crop's protein value ranged from 11 to 18, one of the highest quality crops in recent memory.
Triple Digit Yield Takes Wheat Contest Honors: Three Kansas wheat farmers each earned $1,000 by winning their respective regions in the 2011 Kansas Wheat Yield Contest. Tom Austin, Minneapolis, harvested 104.82 bushels per acre with a field of Armour, to claim the Central Region. James Kesler, Sabetha, won the Eastern Region with AgriPro's Art variety, which yielded 61.34 bushels per acre. In the Western Region, Chuck Downey, St. Francis, recorded a 61.76 bushel per acre yield with the variety Winterhawk. Winners were recognized at a ceremony at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson in September.
Trade Deals Secured: Jay Armstrong, Kansas Wheat Commissioner from Muscotah joined Gov. Sam Brownback and Taiwanese trade delegation officials in September in signing a joint communique that Taiwan will buy $484.5 million of Kansas-grown Hard Red Winter wheat over the next two years. The signing ceremony at the Statehouse in Topeka reflects the Taiwanese group's intent to purchase 62.5 million bushels of hard red winter wheat in 2012 and 2013. President Obama, meanwhile, signed U.S. trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Taiwan - giving new export opportunities to high-quality Kansas wheat.
Nigeria is Top Importer: Nigeria again imported more Hard Red Winter wheat than any other country; more than 3 million metric tons, or 110 million bushels. It is the most Hard Red Winter wheat bought from the U.S. by any country in any single marketing year. Nigeria also imported 141,000 metric tons of Hard White wheat. The African country of Nigeria imports enough wheat of all classes to fill a 100-car unit train every day of the year.
Wheat Fountain Returns: In September, Kansas Wheat brought its popular "Wheat Fountain" back to the Kansas State Fair after a long hiatus. The eye-catching Fountain was enjoyed by thousands of Fairgoers, many of whom remembered the original Wheat Fountain from the 1960s and 70s. The Kansas Wheat display celebrated 150 years of Kansas statehood by highlighting wheat's importance to the state's economy and history.
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