Crop scouts on the first day of an annual three-day tour of Kansas projected an average yield for hard red winter wheat in the northern portion of the state at 34.7 bushels per acre, down from 43.8 bushels a year ago.

The tour's five-year average for the same area is also 43.8 bushels per acre.

Scouts on the tour, organized by the Wheat Quality Council, sampled 271 fields on Tuesday between Manhattan and Colby, Kansas. The tour is scheduled to scout fields in southwestern Kansas on Wednesday and release a final yield forecast for the state, the top U.S. wheat producer, on Thursday.