News

Wheat Harvest 2017-Low Yields, Fewer Acres in Southern Plains


Custom harvesters in the southern Plains have fewer wheat acres to cut this year as poor stands have farmers grazing many of their fields rather than harvesting them for grain.

The fields that were harvested had low yields and average test weights of 60 lbs per bushel or higher. While proteins were said to be on the low side, the harvesters said elevators there typically do not disclose that information.

“The yields were not good, but the test weights are OK,” said harvester Shorty Kulhanek, who was cutting southwest of Wichita Falls, Texas. “We had some 25 to 35 bushels, but a lot of it was less than 20.”

USDA expects Texas wheat to average 30 bushels per acre from 2.3 million acres, versus 32 bpa and 2.8 million a year ago.

High cattle prices this year and low wheat prices had many farmers in Texas and Oklahoma grazing the wheat.

“We harvested about half of our normal acres. The cattle were making money so they kept them grazing it,” said harvester Mike Strunk, who just finished cutting fields in north-central Texas. Yields on those fields ranged from 15 to 45 bpa.

The lower-than-expected yields in Texas and in some areas in Oklahoma were attributed to dry conditions last fall that affected early growth.

“When you cut farms that average 21 to 30 bushels, it is bad. Typically, a good average for this country is about 35 bushels,” Strunk said.

Conditions may not improve as harvesters move north. Strunk said infestations of wheat streak mosaic in Kansas will reduce harvested acres there.

“About half of my wheat near Tribune, Kansas, is gone because of the mosaic,’” he said.

Rain late this week sidelined Irvin Odegard’s combines for a few days near Watonga in central Oklahoma. But the fields that were cut prior to the showers had lower-than-expected yields and average test weights.

“We were in the 30 to 40 bushel range. They were hoping for some in the 50s.” said Odegard. “There are many areas where the stands did not develop because it was too dry last fall.”

USDA expects Oklahoma to harvest 89.1 million bushels this year on 2.7 million acres at 33 bpa. A year ago it produced 136.5 million bushels from 3.5 million acres at 39 bpa.

Source: Bob Burgdorfer, Southwest Farm Press

ProAg Quick Links

Agent Toolbox Grower Toolbox Careers

ProAg News

Corn Prices Heating Up

Despite the USDA raising 2018-19 marketing year ending stocks for corn in last Thursday’s WASDE report, corn prices moved higher to end the week. December corn futures prices returned to the levels seen before the surprising June Acreage report....

More Resilient Flood Control

In the wake of flooding that has inundated the Midwest, people offer different perspectives calling for more investment in flood control infrastructure as recovery begins along the Missouri River and in much of the Mississippi River watershed....

Why MFP 2019 Will Be A Disappointment For Some

The flow of meaningful information from USDA leadership about MFP 2019 payments has remained painfully slow. While there is no way of knowing the exact county-level payment rates, this week's post considers the big-picture impacts of how a 2019 MFP program might roll-out....
Get ProAg updates via email
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×