Wheat Harvest 2015: Crews head to South Dakota, Montana

Wheat Harvest 2015: Crews head to South Dakota, Montana

Wheat rust found in Colorado, northwest Kansas, Nebraska

Wheat harvest crews wrapped up cutting in Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska this week and headed to South Dakota or Montana.

Rust was prevalent in northwest Kansas and northeast Colorado and fields treated with fungicides yielded better than untreated ones.

Related: Wheat Harvest 2015: Kansas yields a surprise in a "good way"

"Weather is looking somewhat favorable as not much rain is in the forecast," said harvester Nancy Eberts, whose crews just finished cutting in Sutherland in western Nebraska near North Platte.

Irrigated fields yielded 67 to 70 bushels per acre at 60-pound test weights, while dryland wheat had 17 to 35 bushels and 55 to 59 test weights, she said.

Rust found in Colorado, northwest Kansas, Nebraska

Further west, near Scotts Bluff, Neb., yields of 25 to 30 bushels were common from "lighter soils" said harvester Irvin Odegard.

"There are a few weeds because of the late rain, but I don't see any diseases to speak of," he said.

Odegard arrived in Scotts Bluff after cutting in northeast Colorado. The Colorado wheat yielded 70 bushels or more, which he said has been typical for those fields. Once he finishes in Nebraska he will head to Montana.

Mike Strunk arrived in Hardin in southern Montana this week after cutting in Cheyenne Wells, Colo., near the Kansas border. The Colorado wheat ranged from 40 to 50 bushels per acre, with fields showing signs of freeze damage from earlier in the season.

Wheat east of Denver yielded about 40 bushels per acre, although those treated with fungicides yielded better, another harvester said.

In northwest Kansas, harvester Sue Holland said wheat there ranged from 18 to 60 bushels per acre, also reporting better yields from fields treated with fungicides.

USDA forecast Kansas, the largest wheat state, will harvest 8.8 million acres of wheat, the same as in 2014, with a 38 bushel average yield for production of 334.4 million bushels. A year ago it harvested 246.4 million.

On Monday, it said the state's crop was 93% harvested, compared with 87% a year ago and the 94% average.

USDA estimated Colorado's crop at 87.75 million bushels, with a 39 average yield from 2.25 million acres.  Nebraska is forecast to harvest 54.6 million bushels with an average yield of 42 bushels from 1.3 million acres.

As of Sunday, Nebraska's wheat was 27% harvested, versus the 38% average and Colorado was at 39% versus the 52% average.

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