ENID, Okla. — Oklahoma’s winter wheat crop had a value of $478.4 million this year, according to figures from U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The figures were included in the Annual Wheat Review released by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and are generated from surveys of producers.

The 2020 crop year wheat harvest resulted in production of 104 million bushels statewide, with an average yield of 40 bushels an acre. The price per bushel was listed in the review as $4.60.

This year’s harvest was slightly smaller than what was produced last year. The 2019 crop year harvest totaled 110 million bushels, with a yield of 40 bushels an acre and a price of $4.31 per bushel. Last year’s crop had a value of $474.1 million.

This year saw 2.6 million acres harvested, from 4.25 million bushels planted for all purposes. Last year, 2.75 million bushels were harvested from 4.2 million bushels planted.

The state’s wheat crop has been up and down in the past five years, with the 2016 year crop totaling 136.5 million bushels. Production dropped to 98.6 million bushels for the 2017 crop year, and 70 million bushels for the 2018 crop year before increasing in 2019.

Even as USDA provided details of the last wheat crop, farmers are working to plant the next crop.

According to the NASS crop progress report released Monday, wheat planting has started in Oklahoma, with 8% of the crop in the ground. The average for this time of year is 5%. Nationwide, 12% of winter wheat has been planted.

“Wheat planting is underway in parts of Northern Oklahoma,” said Brady Sidwell, president of Enterprise Grain. “Conditions are dry, but producers are keen to get seed in the ground for wheat pasture grazing. At this time of the year, we’re always contending with hot, dry weather as well as pests such as army worms, which are active again this year.

“Many producers intending to graze cattle on wheat choose to ‘dust it in’ to get a head start in increasing fall forage. It is a gamble, but there is also uncertainty in waiting.”

Other farmers are waiting to see if Mother Nature provides rain before they plant.

“However, with temperatures being hotter for longer this year, I believe a larger share of producers are waiting to see what materializes from rain chances this week before starting to plant,” Sidwell said. “We are getting more requests for seed treatment this year to protect planted seed from insects and other inhibitors. Although wheat prices have come down recently, I do expect more wheat acres to be planted this year. However, high fertilizer prices make it important for producers to have a price protection plan in place.”

Soil moisture conditions across the state are mixed, according to NASS.

For topsoil, 40% of the state is rated as adequate for moisture, with 47% short and 13% very short.

For subsoil, 44% of the state is rated as adequate for moisture, with 45% short and 11% very short.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows much of the state reporting no drought. However, most of Woods and Alfalfa counties, along with parts of Woodward and Major counties, are listed as being in moderate drought.

The far northwest part of Woods County is listed in severe drought.

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