Damp Conditions Delay Oklahoma Wheat Harvest, But Yield and Quality Estimates Still Look StrongSat, 21 May 2016 17:58:50 CDT
Combines are on the move in Texas, already making their way to the Waco area and even further north. That can only mean one thing for Oklahoma wheat producers - harvest is quickly approaching!
In fact, Oklahoma Wheat Commision Executive Director Mike Schulte says some wheat in the southwest corner of the state is ready to go, but the recent cool and damp weather has farmers in a standstill. With more rain in the forecast, he is hopeful to get the Oklahoma harvest underway before too much moisture has a negative effect on the crop.
“We know that there are places in southwest Oklahoma that would be harvesting right now today on the earlier varieties,” Schulte says. “Like I said, with moisture predicted all for next week, I think producers are a little bit on edge because there are severe storms predicted for Monday and Tuesday.”
Looking at projected numbers for the 2016 wheat harvest, Schulte says the National Grain and Feed Association estimates released recently are very similar to the numbers he and area extension agents are predicting.
“I think that number being 130.6 million bushel average for the state figured at 34 bushel average on a little more than 3.8 million acres harvested is really pretty much right on target,” he says. “I think maybe they were a little bit lower on the yield average than I would have been. I think particularly in northern Oklahoma, some of the yields were lower than what I am predicting based on what some of the other extension people are predicting as of today.”
Although there has been some hail damage reported in the northern areas of the state, Schulte says there is still a lot of good wheat to cut.
“Things really look good in north-central and northern Oklahoma,” he says. “I think we’ve got some potential for a lot of 45-50 bushel wheat; I think there’s even some potential for 80 bushel wheat as of today in some of those regions where you’ve had really good managers who’ve been intensive on their management practices.
There was some question early on about how the drought conditions in early 2016 would affect the crop, and Schulte says he’s surprised to see how it has recovered in the past two months.
“We saw some tillers resucker, and I think the question was to whether they were going to fill,” he says. “From that point on though, with the moisture and the temperature, this has been perfect grain-fill weather.
“I think producers are no doubt wanting to get this crop in the bin because overall, as of today, it’s probably the best looking crop we’ve seen in a long, long time.”
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to Schulte's full outlook for the fast-approaching wheat harvest.
Schulte will join Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays for the weekly In the Field segment on KWTV News9 in the Oklahoma City area on Saturday morning at 6:40 a.m.
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