The 2014 HRW wheat harvest has moved well into Kansas with test cutting now just short of the Nebraska border (but is concentrated in the southern half of the state). Cutting progress in Kansas continues to be significantly slowed not only because of continued rain showers, but now many fields are completely saturated with water, so mud is a major issue. Harvest in northwest Texas (Panhandle) is just beginning. This area has a concentration of irrigated fields of which many are still not fully mature. In Oklahoma, major areas yet to be harvested are just south of the Kansas state line in the eastern part of the north central region and the far northwest (Panhandle) side of the state. Harvest is expected to begin in southeastern Colorado next week.
Generally, yields continue to range from 5 bu/ac to 30 bu/ac (.3 to 2.0 tons/ha) with no definitive reason offered at this point other than drought (and sometimes late freeze) being a common denominator. Quality has declined over the last week as many producers and elevators report a general decrease in test weight where repeated rains have kept harvesters out of the field.
With 72 of an expected 530 samples in the lab TW decreased this week by 0.3 of a point to 59.3 lb/bu (78.0 kg/hl), and is behind last year’s final average of 59.9 lb/bu (78.8 kg/hl). Protein increased by 0.1 of a percentage point over last week to 14.4% and is still well above the 2013 average of 13.4%. S&B increased significantly this week from 1.1% to 1.5%. These changes are consistent with the areas now being harvested where plant development occurred under extreme drought stress (S&B TKW), an April 15th freeze (S&B TKW), high temperatures during grainfill (S&B) and most recently excessive rainfall after crop maturity (TW).