After Weather-Delayed Start, Wheat Harvest Proceeds at a Rapid Clip, Schulte SaysThu, 13 Jun 2013 17:57:33 CDT
The USDA estimates that eight percent of the state's wheat crop had been cut as of Sunday. Mike Schulte, executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, says harvest crews are making rapid progress and the pace should continue if the weather continues to cooperate. Schulte spoke with Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays about how harvest is looking after getting off to a late and slow start. (Schulte will also appear on this week's "In the Field" segment on News 9 at about 6 a.m. Saturday.)
"The storms kind of slowed us down last week and things just weren't quite ready. It was taking a little longer for producers to get back in the field than they would have liked. No doubt they were glad to receive the moisture, but I'm thinking right now they're just wanting to take this opportunity, hoping that Mother Nature will cooperate with them for the next seven or eight days and maybe we can get a lot of this wheat cut out in all areas of the state."
Schulte says 60 to 70 percent of the crop has been harvested in the southwest part of the state with the custom cutters moving on to the south central parts of the state from Hydro to Okarche to south of Enid.
"It looks like much of the state is going to be ready all at one time and I think producers are anxious to get out into the fields."
Schulte said he believes yields will still be below the USDA's latest estimate of 114 million bushels for the state, but the wheat's improvement in condition has surprised him over the last couple of weeks.
"A lot of the wheat does look a lot better than what I had anticipated or what it looked like a month ago at this time. I think we have to take into consideration that we have had the right weather for us for this type of year where we've had all the drought stress and freeze scenarios throughout the state. Here in this last month we've had a lot of rain. We've had a lot of cloud cover, cooler days, so it has been perfect weather for filling. No doubt, the crop had been hurt significantly with freeze damage, but what was left out there in the field, it has been a perfect environment for it to go ahead and fill and do well."
He said test weights have been in the 60-pound-per bushel range and elevator managers have been surprised. Schulte also said protein levels in the southwest have been very high as well, but he expects to see some fall off as harvest progresses to the central region of the state.
The late start to the harvest season was causing some problems, Schulte said, for farmers who had early and late varieties which are tending to be ready to cut at about the same time.
Click on the LISTEN BAR at the bottom of this story to listen to the full interview.
Schulte also filed the latest reports on harvest progress from around the state:
June 12, 2013
Producers are starting to move back into full swing with harvest after moisture was received in many areas of Oklahoma last week. While the far southwest part of the state has been progressing with harvest, south central regions, central Oklahoma and places in the far North Central region of
Oklahoma will seem to begin harvest all at the same time this 2013 season.
Eldorado? So far to date approximately 850,000 bushels have been taken into the Farmers Coop elevator. It is estimated that harvest is half?way complete in this area of the state. Test weights still averaging 60 pounds per bushel. Protein is averaging 14 percent with yields ranging from 15 to 25 bushels per acre.
Headrick? Harvest has been progressing fast in this region. It is estimated that 60 percent of this region is complete with harvesting. Yields are averaging 20 bushels per acre. Test weights have dropped since the rains last week, the test weight is now averaging 58 to 60 pounds per bushel instead of 60 to 62 pounds per bushel. Proteins are averaging 13 percent.
Frederick- Harvest is estimated to be 70 to 80 percent complete in this region. Lower test weights reported in this area ranging from 57 to 58 pounds per bushel. Yields reported to be ranging from 10 to 15 bushels per acre. Proteins are averaging 13 percent.
Grandfield- Harvest in this region is 85 percent complete, test weights are averaging 60 pounds per bushel. Yields are ranging from 5 to 18 bushels per acre with proteins ranging from 13 to 14 percent.
Chattanooga- Yields in this region averaging 10 to 23 bushels per acre. Test weights are doing well and averaging 60 pounds per bushel. Proteins are averaging 14 percent.
Lawton- The area around Lawton is 70 percent complete with harvest. One high yield was reported to make 32 bushels per acre. Other yields are ranging from 20 to 25 bushels per acre. Test weights in this area averaging 60 pounds per bushel. Protein is averaging 14 percent.
Apache- Harvest is just getting started in this area with about 5 percent of the harvest complete.
Farmers are still struggling to get over the wet ground in the lower areas of this region. Yields are being reported all over the board. Some fields are reported to be making 20 bushels per acre while other fields are reported to be making 40 bushels per acre. No protein has been reported around Apache.
Cordell- Harvest is just getting a good start in this region. Yields are being reported in the mid to low 20's on that which has been taken in so far. Test weights are averaging 57 to 59 pounds per bushel. No protein has been reported around Cordell.
Clinton- Farmers coop association in Clinton has taken in approximately 12,000 to 13,000 bushels.
Yields on early reports in this region are making 10 to 15 bushels per acre. Test weights so far have been averaging 55?58 pounds per bushel. This early report on Clinton will not be representative of other wheat fields in the area that look much better. Those fields happen to be a few more days away from harvest.
Union City- So far 8,000 bushels of grain has been taken in at the Union City Banner Coop Elevator location. Test weights in Union City reported to be making around 60 pounds per bushel. No protein
has been reported around Union City.
Banner- As of today three loads of wheat have been taken into the Banner elevator location. It is to early to tell yield on this wheat that was averaging 59 pounds per bushel on test weight. No protein has been reported around Banner.
Okarche- Harvest is slowly progressing in this region. Moisture on wheat being taken in today was ranging from 11 to 13.5 percent. Yields have been reported from 20 to 40 bushels per acre in this region with test weights reported from 58 to 62 pounds per bushel. Protein has been ranging from 10 to 14 on wheat being taken in at this region.
Loyal- Few people have started harvesting around the Loyal area today. It is to early to determine yields from this region. Test weights are ranging from 59 to 61 pounds per bushels. No protein has been reported around Loyal.
Helena- No reports of harvest to be taking place as of yet in this region.
Enid- Harvest is moving north and starting on the southwest regions of Enid as of today. Test weights are ranging from 54 to 63 pounds. A large majority of the wheat being taken in is falling in the 60 pound category. Some yields have been reported to be making 60 bushels per acre in this region with reports on 12 percent protein averages so far.
Jet- It is reported that some people are harvesting in Oklahoma as far North as Jet, Oklahoma. No yield
information or test weight data has been reported on the wheat in this area as of today.
Seiling- This afternoon a sample with the moisture of 11.5 percent was collected. It is estimated that harvest will start to begin in this region today and tomorrow.
Panhandle Region- It is estimated that producers will start cutting dry?land wheat in parts of the Panhandle on Sunday or Monday of this coming week.
You can follow these harvest updates on the Oklahoma Wheat Commission's website.
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