July 12, 2013 Colorado Winter Wheat Harvest Report

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2013 Colorado Winter Wheat Harvest Report

Friday, July 12, 2013

Harvest is wrapping up in southeastern Colorado and is mostly in full swing along the Front Range and near Burlington, Yuma and Haxtun. Farmers continue to have issues in some of the driest areas of the state with fields that still have green heads because of the freezes in April. So despite overall dry conditions, harvest is very slow in some areas.


This Monday’s USDA NASS Crop Report estimated the Colorado winter wheat crop as 16 percent harvested, compared to 7 percent last week and 96 percent at this time last year, when harvest was dramatically earlier than normal. The five-year average for harvest on this date is 37 percent complete.


CSU Crops Testing has posted the results for the Walsh and Yuma Uniform Variety Performance Trials (UVPT): http://bit.ly/132RqTo.


The CSU Wheat Research team has been harvesting trials, and their elite trial averages were as follows: Orchard – 34 bushels per acre, Yuma – 32 bushels per acre, Burlington – 10 bushels per acre, Akron – 23 bushels per acre. They will finish Akron tomorrow and then go to Julesburg and Dailey next Monday.


Cargill-Cheyenne Wells said harvest is still progressing slowly because of green spots in the fields. Loads were starting to come in from north of Cheyenne Wells and from Burlington. Amelia Cope estimated that harvest was 50 to 60 percent complete for the area but would continue for another two weeks. She also said there is a lot of sand in the wheat, as farmers have to set their headers low to cut the short stems.


Moisture content at Cargill-Cheyenne Wells was 8 to 12 percent, test weights were 56 to 58 pounds per bushel, with a few loads up to 60 pounds per bushel, protein was high at 13 to 15 percent, and yields continuing to be disappointing, with irrigated wheat yielding 15 to 25 bushels per acre and dryland wheat yielding six to eight bushels per acre. She is seeing a lot of farmers driving their own trucks in because they are only running one truck, as it takes more than one field to fill a semi. Custom harvesters have been calling the elevator looking for work, since they are wrapped up in Kansas and the crop is not yet ready in the Dakotas.


The Burlington branch of the Stratton Coop is seeing good test weights of 59 pounds per bushel with an average of 13 percent protein.  The harvest is about 40 percent complete for their area.  Reported yields are between 10 and 20 bushels per acre. They expect to receive about 30 percent of a normal harvest. Deb Smith of the Stratton Coop said there was a sprinkle of rain Wednesday night and consequently it was muggy all day Thursday.


Cargill-Burlington said harvest is moving slowly and is probably less than 50 percent complete for their area. Moisture content averaged 11.9 percent, test weight averaged 60.3 pounds per bushel, and protein was high, at an average of 15.1 percent. Burlington area farmers are also seeing wetter areas in their fields with some green heads.


A Bethune area wheat farmer had not yet started harvest on his farm, citing green spots in the field due to the late freeze in April. He anticipated being able to start on Monday.


WestPlains, LLC at Johnstown reported that harvest is just getting rolling for their area, and is less than ten percent complete. They anticipate an average crop for the area. Moisture content so far has averaged 11 percent, test weight 58 pounds per bushel, protein 13 percent, and yields have been around 30 bushels per acre.


An Orchard wheat farmer said they would wrap up wheat harvest on their farm today. Moisture contents had been eight to 11 percent, protein 11.5 to 14 percent, and yields were 20 to 35 bushels per acre. Test weights ranged from 55 to 60 pounds per bushel, and had been lowest in the variety Snowmass and the best in variety Brawl CL Plus.


Keith DeVoe at the Roggen Farmers Elevator Association said that harvest was about 25 percent complete for the area. He expects to receive an average crop. Average moisture content is 10 percent, test weight averaged 58 pounds per bushel, protein averaged 12 percent (and they are paying a protein premium above 12 percent), and yields had been around 25 bushels per acre.


A Roggen wheat grower said they had been cutting the varieties Denali and Settler CL.  Moisture content on their farm had been averaging 11 to 12 percent. Test weights on the Denali were 56 to 57 pounds per bushel, with the Settler CL a little heavier at 59 and 60 pounds per bushel. Denali that followed sunflowers was yielding 30 bushels per acre, and a test cut on a field of Settler that yielded over 45 bushels per acre also showed the field was still too wet to continue to cut. They are about 50 percent done with harvest.


A Bennett area wheat farmer said he is about 40 percent done with harvest. Moisture content has been very dry, from six to ten percent. Test weight has been in the mid-50s (pounds per bushel). Protein has ranged from 11 to 16 percent, and yields have ranged widely, from 6 to 29 bushels per acre.


A Bennett area family farm is about 85 percent done with harvest, and said “It’s a beautiful hot harvest morning!” Yields on their farm have ranged from 11 to 35 bushels per acre. Their moisture content averaged 10.4 percent, test weight averaged 58.6 percent, and protein averaged 11.5 percent.


CHS Otis said harvest was wrapping up in their area and was probably about 90 percent complete. Moisture content averaged 11 percent, test weight averaged 59 percent, protein averaged 13.5 percent, and yields averaged about 18 bushels per acre county-wide.


An Otis wheat grower was harvesting this morning and estimated harvest was about one-third complete on his farm.  Moisture content was 11 percent, test weight was 59 pounds per bushel, and yield was 20 bushels per acre.


Cargill-Byers took their first loads of wheat on June 29, and they estimate harvest is slightly over one-third complete for their intake area. They anticipate receiving about 80 percent of an average crop. Test weights started out very low but have improved to the mid-50s (pounds per bushel.) Protein was high, in the 12.5 to 13 percent range. Yields were reported to be 15 to 20 bushels per acre.


A Keenesburg wheat farmer reported on Twitter (@blhw37) more low test weights but good yields and high protein.


CHS Yuma estimates harvest to be 75 percent complete in the area. Moisture content is averaging around 11 to 12 percent, test weight is 59.5 percent, protein has been 13 percent (they are paying a protein premium on 12 percent and higher) and yields were about 20 bushels per acre.


A Yuma-area farmer reported that her family farm will finish harvest today. As they wrapped up, yields were around 40 bushels per acre. Test weight was 60 pounds per bushel. Moisture content was 11 percent. Protein content was 12 to 13 percent.


Scott Kirkwood at Grainland in Haxtun said yesterday was their biggest day so far. They are still hoping for an average crop for the area. Average moisture content is 11.5 percent, test weight is averaging 58.7 percent, average protein is 12 percent (and they are paying a protein premium starting at 13 percent). He had heard yields in the area ranging from 10 bushels per acre on continuous crop wheat to highs of 40 bushels per acre. They estimate harvest at 30 to 35 percent complete for the area.


A Haxtun wheat farmer said he is about 75 percent done with harvest on his farm. They had been harvesting continuous crop wheat at 12 to 15 bushels per acre, with summer fallow wheat yielding better at 30 to 35 bushels per acre. Test weight was 58 pounds per bushel.


Brent Oestman at the Flagler Coop said harvest is about 10 percent complete for that area. They are seeing some higher moisture contents with fields that look ripe but then test at 16 percent moisture. Moisture content average is 12 to 13 percent. Test weights have generally been good, averaging 59 to 60 pounds per bushel. Protein content is 12 percent, and yields are in the teens and 20-bushel per acre range. He estimates they will receive about 30 percent of an average crop in the area.


A wheat grower at Genoa said he was going to do some test cutting today, and the fields which had been broken out from CRP in the last few years looked close to harvest.


UPDATED: Colorado winter wheat production in 2013 is projected at only 49,500,000 bushels (based on the USDA’s estimate of yield on July 11, 2013 and revised estimate of harvested acres on June 28, 2013), down 33 percent from 73,780,000 bushels produced last year, and down 31 percent from the 10-year average crop of 71,978,000 bushels.


The estimate for the 2013 Colorado winter wheat crop is based upon only 1,500,000 acres being harvested (which is the lowest harvested acres since 1965) with an average yield of 33.0 bushels per acre.  This compares with 2,170,000 acres harvested last year and the 10-year average of 2,122,000 acres harvested and an average yield of 34 bushels per acre last year and the 10-year average yield of 33.4 bushels per acre.


An estimated 2,200,000 acres were planted last fall for harvest in 2013, compared with 2,350,000 acres planted for harvest in 2012 and the 10-year average of 2,395,000 acres planted for harvest.


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Thanks to Brad Warren of Keenesburg for sharing this beautiful harvest photo! (Click to see larger version)

Colorado wheat harvest


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