The focus of the 2011 HRW wheat harvest is now in northeast Colorado (north of I-70), Nebraska and eastern Wyoming. These areas were generally 7 to 10 days behind normal harvest dates (and there is still some high moisture wheat in several locations) in contrast to the Southern Great Plains where they were 7 to 10 days ahead of normal maturity and harvest dates. While temperatures have increased to the upper 90’s and low 100’s the area is still dealing with rain showers on a spotted basis due to moisture circulation around a high pressure system dominating the Southern Great Plains. This results in scattered afternoon thunderstorms on already saturated soils and high humidity slowing the drying process.
Overall yields have increased in the areas now being harvested (northeast Colorado (north of I-70), Nebraska and eastern Wyoming) with 45 to 65 bushels per acre generally being reported. This increase in yield, indicating more favorable growing conditions during key crop development periods, has also affected kernel characteristics. Elevator reports are indicating a decrease in test weight and protein, but an increase in thousand kernel weight.
The slowing of harvest over the past week (due to late maturity as compared to normal and rain delays) has resulted in the 62 samples collected over the past week to yet be fully evaluated. So the total sample count for evaluation has not changed from last week, but will be reflected in next week’s report.
View this PDF for visual test data from the 2009 harvest.