The 2013 HRW wheat harvest continues to wind down in Texas and Oklahoma with only scattered fields across both states (the majority in the northwestern parts (Panhandles)), yet to be harvested. Those areas were very hard hit with drought (ongoing) and multiple late freeze events. As a result, kernel characteristics have suffered with test weights and thousand kernel weights being lower than expected. Kansas, much like Oklahoma and Texas, is experiencing the results associated with the extremes of the weather events over the growing season. While the central and southwestern ¼ of Kansas is seeing one of its worst crops in history (many elevators taking in only 10% to 20% of a normal year, again much like Oklahoma and Texas), areas of east central Kansas are taking in one of the better crops on record. Anecdotal reports are extreme from one side of the state to the other (poor yields, high protein and small kernels in the west to much lower protein, but very good kernel characteristics and yields in the east central and east). Colorado is only 15% complete with harvest (with all of that being in the southern one-half of the state), but it too has been devastated by the drought and freeze events and as a result are experiencing yields and quality similar to western Kansas. Nebraska is just beginning harvest.
There are currently 155 of the expected 500 samples in the lab for evaluation. The over whelming majority of samples currently being tested are from the drought affected areas of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas and is reflected in the data summary for this week. Average dockage remains higher than 2012 by almost 0.2% due to the lighter kernels in this crop being harder to separate from dockage during the harvesting process. Test weight dropped 0.1 this week while protein increased by 0.2%. Test weight and thousand kernel weight is expected to improve as more samples are evaluated from the central and eastern areas of the Great Plains.
*(based on 61 early samples)