The 2011 HRW wheat harvest took a giant leap north over the last week with test cutting now going on just south of I-70 in central Kansas. Oklahoma took the biggest jump in harvested acres this past week to 80%. The majority of acres left to be cut in Oklahoma are in the Panhandle and the north central part of the state. Harvest in Texas has also moved rapidly with the largest wheat producing area (north of Amarillo) now getting into full swing.
Yields have increase slightly as harvest moved into north central Oklahoma and Kansas (south central area) with test weights and protein remaining strong. The Oklahoma Panhandle, western and southwestern Kansas were hit hard by the drought and a late freeze so conditions in those areas remain a concern as cutting begins.
We have reported (and continue to report) very good test weights (generally above 60 lb/bu), high proteins, but limited yield. Last week we started to see pockets of lower values for thousand kernel weight (TKW) which appear to be associated with the drought and a period about a month ago (during kernel development) when temperatures were in the triple digits, humidity was under 10% and winds were over 30 mph. There is currently no defined pattern to the areas with lower TKW’s and it is not consistent across a defined region. The contrast of this crop (high protein, lower TKW’s and smaller kernels) with that of the previous two years (lower protein, high TKW’s and plump kernels) has the attention of millers trying to transition from old crop to new crop.
The first samples are in the lab for evaluation and limited results from Texas and Oklahoma should be available in next week’s report.
View this PDF for visual test data from the 2009 harvest.