The 2011 HRW wheat harvest made very little progress this week as rain continued to plague northwest Kansas, northeast Colorado and almost all of Nebraska. Most areas received between one and two inches over the last week with higher reports on an isolated basis. Nebraska is now only 10% complete with harvest and would normally be over 1/3 done by this date. Northeast Colorado is also well behind the long-term average harvested percentage for this date with very little wheat cut north of I-70. This is a sharp contrast to the areas already harvested in Texas, Oklahoma and southern Kansas where triple digit temperatures and dry weather are setting records. This is slowing field preparations for the 2012 crop and causing concerns for all agricultural enterprises.
Yields continue to be good with larger kernels now being reported as harvest moved into areas where timely moisture and cooler temperatures prevailed during crop development and maturity. USDA is now projecting Colorado and Nebraska will produce slightly more wheat than last year. While the USDA Kansas wheat production estimate increased slightly, they are still projected to be well below their long-term average.
With 259 samples of a projected 530 total samples now in the testing process, average test weights continue to be very good (over 61 lbs./bu.) and the average protein is still at 13%. Thousand kernel weights increased this week as those areas with more favorable growing conditions over the spring are now being harvested (approaching 29 grams). Average dockage remains low at (0.4%) and moisture continues to average below 10.5%.
View this PDF for visual test data from the 2009 harvest.