Custom harvesters moved out of Kansas and found good yields in eastern Colorado and South Dakota while the somewhat poor yields in western Nebraska were blamed on hail and a spring freeze.
“The winter wheat made about 90 bushels (per acre). That is crazy. That is really good,” said harvester Sue Holland, who was in central South Dakota north of Pierre.
Harvesting was slow there as the heavy grain heads had laid the wheat over. “A lot of it was flat,” she said.
Harvesters in several states worked around rain storms this past week, but still made progress. The wheat was maturing rapidly and one crew was beginning to cut in Montana, which was about two weeks ahead of normal.
Average yields of 45 to 50 bpa were reported in northeast Colorado, where the harvest was winding down.
“It is a good average crop,” said harvester Mike Strunk of the crop in northeast Colorado. “There are some lighter test weights. There is some rust pressure.”
Rain showers slowed combines somewhat in Colorado, but Strunk said they still made progress. Some of Strunk’s crew will move to Nebraska this week, while others just started in Montana.
The wheat in Nebraska’s panhandle was disappointing, with low yields and weather damage.
“I would say the wheat here is below average. There seems to be a lot of hail damage and the freeze did hurt it,” said harvester Chad Brink, whose crew was operating near Hemingford. “There was a lot of 25 to 30 bushel wheat that I cut.”
Weather maps show chances for rain the next few days for the central and northern Plains. Also, the 6- to 10-day outlook (July 23-27) has above-normal temperatures for most of the country, with normal to below-normal precipitation for the central Plains.
USDA on July 12 upgraded its wheat production forecasts and raised the Kansas crop to 453.6 million bushels. The state’s average yield went to 56 bpa from its June estimate of 48. A year ago it was 37. Nebraska’s crop was put at 60 million bushels with a 50 bushel average. A year ago it produced 45.98 million at 38 bushels.
Colorado’s harvest is forecast at 95.4 million bushels at 45 bpa. A year ago it was 79.18 million at 37. Winter wheat in South Dakota is forecast at 57.78 million at 54 bpa, while the year ago crop was nearly 42.7 million at 44 bpa.
As of July 13, USDA said the Kansas wheat harvest was 91% done, compared with 89% a year ago and the 69% average. Colorado was 33% harvested versus 32% a year ago and the 46% average, while Nebraska was 38% done versus 24% a year ago and the 34% average. South Dakota’s winter wheat was 21% cut versus 7% a year ago and the 12% average.
USDA will update the harvest numbers later on Monday.
July 8, 2016 - Wheat Harvest 2016 - Yields remain high, test weights slip
July 1, 2016 - Wheat Harvest 2016 - Rain slows progress
June 24, 2016 - Wheat Harvest 2016 - Big, healthy crop in Kansas
June 17, 2016 - Wheat Harvest 2016 - Good yields, test weights, in Kansas, Oklahoma