“Wednesday’s scorching temperatures and strong winds allowed combines to begin to roll again; however, humidity levels are high, and the ground is still pretty wet, even though the wheat is ready,” Kansas Wheat said.
Highs in the low 100s were recorded June 27 and expected again June 28 across most of Kansas, western Oklahoma and central and western Texas.
Kansas wheat was 98% coloring, 85% mature and 52% harvested as of June 24, compared with 44% harvested last year and 32% as the five-year average, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Kansas field office said in its June 25 weekly update.
Chris Wagner, vice-president of grain at Garden City Co-op in Finney county, said harvest began in the area on June 12 but then was delayed five to seven days by rain. Only about 25% of the crop was harvested with about two weeks left if there are no more rain delays.
“Our yields are about normal, coming in around 20 to 40 bushels per acre,” Wagner said. “There are some outliers that are coming in higher than others, but we are mainly getting our normal numbers.”
Test weights were down “about half a point to a full point,” Wagner said, averaging about 60.5 pounds per bushel. Protein samples were averaging around 12%.
“In comparison to previous years, right now yields are lower and quality is right on track,” Wagner said.
Jason Baker, location manager at Scott Coop in Scott county, said harvest had barely started, but early results were pleasing. Some farmers began harvesting June 15 through 17 but were rained out June 18 and didn’t resume until June 26.
“I have heard people are pleased, and there is more out there in the fields than they were expecting,” Baker said.
Indications were test weights were lower and protein was higher than normal, Baker said. Test weights have averaged 58 to 60 pounds per bushel, having been hurt by drought in the area. Protein was ranging from 10.5% to 15.5%, compared with average protein around 12.5%.
“The fields got hit with a really bad hail storm that wiped out a bunch of fields,” Baker said. “The weekend rain also came with some hail again. A positive for this year is there is no sign of (wheat streak) mosaic (virus) in the fields, which was a problem last year.”
More rain was forecast for the Scott City area over the coming weekend, and harvest in the area was expected to be mostly completed by June 9.
“Overall, I would say that we are in good shape,” Baker said. “The rain is always a good thing; it just didn’t have the best timing for us.”
Updates from the Kansas wheat harvest may be viewed via #wheatharvest18 on Twitter.