The 2011 HRW wheat harvest continues to roll in Kansas with cutting now an estimated 70% complete. Northwest Kansas is just getting started, but is experiencing triple digit temperatures which will push that area into full swing shortly. Harvest is all but complete in Texas and Oklahoma with only a few irrigated fields left in the Panhandle areas of both states. Colorado is now nearing 20% completion with all cutting still south of I-70 (southern half of the state). Southern Nebraska will likely begin test cutting in the next few days and in the Panhandle by next week.
Yields have continued to be variable in all locations as harvest has moved northward and generally have been ranging from the low teens to well over 50 bushels per acre. Much of the variability is associated with the extreme drought, hot temperatures during kernel development and crop rotation practices (nature of the previous crop) vs. timely moisture and cooler conditions during crop growth and maturity. The consistency has been with kernel characteristics (although smaller kernels than last year) and protein content (much higher than the last 2 years).
With 155 samples of an estimated 530 total in the lab, average test weights continue to exceed 61 pounds per bushel with average proteins over 13%. Thousand kernel weights are lower than last year, but still are averaging above 27 grams. Dockage remains low (0.4%) and moisture continues to average below 10.5%. Preliminary mill, dough functionality and bake test are reflective of the high protein and test weight data.
View this PDF for visual test data from the 2009 harvest.