The 2014 HRW wheat harvest has now entered Kansas with test cutting in the southwest and south central areas of the state. Widespread rain showers continue to delay harvest and frustrate wheat producers on an almost daily basis in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas after they watched their crops be almost destroyed by drought and/or the mid-April freeze. With between 30% and 40 % of the crop cut in Texas and Oklahoma, 5 to 7 days of clear weather, warm temperatures and wind could all but finish harvest in those two states. Abandonment is still an issue in both these states as crop height in many of the more drought stricken areas is only 6” to 8” (12 cm to 20 cm) tall causing problems for combines.
Yields have improved slightly as harvest moved northward and reports now range mostly from 5 bu/ac to 30 bu/ac (.3 to 2.0 tons/ha) with the majority averaging in the high-teens (1.3 ton/ha). Producers continue to focus on harvesting seed wheat first.
Test weight increased this week by half a point to 59.6 lb/bu (78.4 kg/hl), but is still behind last year’s final average of 59.9 lb/bu (78.8 kg/hl). Protein also increased by 0.3 of a percentage point over last week to 14.3% and well above the 2013 average of 13.4%. Damaged kernels decreased this week by 0.2 of a percent while moisture decreased by 0.3 of a percent. It is still early in the harvest season with data representing the north Texas, southwest and south central Oklahoma areas where drought and freeze were major factors during the development of this year’s crop.