The US 2020 HRW wheat harvest continues with slow progress in Texas (north central) and Oklahoma (extreme southern). Rain, while generally light and erratic, was just enough to only allow cutting for a couple of hours a day in many areas over the past 2 weeks. Farther north into Oklahoma many locations had heavier rains and wet ground is slowing harvest in those areas. This same general area has also seen drought, hail, high winds and freeze damage over the last several weeks. The freeze, while inconsistent geographically, has had an impact on harvested acres (for grain) especially in southwest Oklahoma. These climatic conditions extend into northwest Texas, western Oklahoma, southwest and western Kansas and eastern Colorado. While the crop in those areas were not as far along in plant development when the freeze happened, prolonged drought will be a factor equal to or worse than the freeze.
While Texas is now projected to be 29% complete, almost all that cutting has been done in southern and central Texas. On the Oklahoma side of the border less than (<1%) has been harvested. With predicted sunshine, more seasonal temperatures and no rain over the next several days, harvest could move rapidly into central Oklahoma. In one producer’s words in southwest Oklahoma, “the wheat’s ready, but the ground is not willing”, meaning the wheat is ripe, but the ground is still too wet to have equipment on.
Early “sample” cutting (means too early project a trend) in central Texas and southern Oklahoma indications are (in areas not affected by hail or freeze) average yields with test weights of 60 lbs/bu (78.9 kg/hl) and above. Protein has been variable ranging from 10%-14%.
By Mark Hodges, Executive Director, Plains Grains, Inc.
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