After precipitation shut the early 2012 HRW wheat harvest down in north Texas and southwest Oklahoma this past week, combines are now running full bore with cutting as far north as central Oklahoma. Several elevator managers in the northern part of Oklahoma indicated they will likely do test cutting this weekend with harvest expected to cross the border into southern Kansas by early next week if the open weather holds (precipitation in the forecast for late this weekend). Crop progress continues to be 2 to 3 weeks ahead of normal with that pattern extending into Colorado and Nebraska. While there currently are no reported shortages of harvest equipment or trucks, there are reports of significantly fewer custom cutters than normal. As cutting continues to extend into a wider geographic area it could put a strain on available resources if more equipment does not arrive.
The harvest from Wichita Falls extending into southwest Oklahoma and northward to Highway 62 (east/west from Lawton to Altus) will be winding down this weekend while areas south of Dallas into the Waco area are still slow to get any harvesting done because of wet fields, high moisture grain and lodged wheat. Producers indicated grain and straw does not dry down enough for cutting until late afternoon. Early yield reports are highly variable in every location ranging from the high teens to well over 70 bushels per acre, but a common average suggested by several elevator managers has been in the upper 30’s.
The first 17 samples from north Texas and southwest Oklahoma were delivered to the ARS Wheat Quality Lab for evaluation (and FGIS for grading) late this week with the average extremely limited results shown below. Test weights have been impressive considering the heat that occurred prior to wheat being physiologically mature. Proteins have been reported by elevator managers (with protein testing equipment) to also be very wide ranging dependant somewhat on the maturity of the crop (variety) at the time hot weather occurred.
Download a PDF of the Harvest Summary of HRW May 18 2012