July 11, 2014 Colorado Winter Wheat Harvest Update

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Friday, July 11, 2014

(Note: Farmers and elevators, give me a heads-up when harvest starts in your area, please!)

Winter wheat harvest continues to stagger along on the Eastern Plains of Colorado, with afternoon and evening rainfall hindering most farmers, and more rain predicted for today and this weekend. The rain has not yet had an effect on test weights. Harvest still extends from Walsh to Peetz, mostly wrapping up in the Walsh and Holly areas, and progressing in the rest of the state whenever the weather permits. Harvest along the Front Range is still slow, and the higher elevation areas around Limon and Genoa are just barely started as well.

Colorado Wheat estimates harvest for the state today at 37 percent complete. USDA estimated harvest as of Monday the 7th at 22 percent complete, compared with 15 percent at this time last year and the five-year average of 35 percent harvested.

A Holly wheat farmer wrapped up harvest on Wednesday. Test weights were 61-63 pounds per bushel, yields were around 20 bushels per acre, and moisture content was seven to nine percent.

A wheat farmer from near Campo in Baca County reported being 90 percent done with harvest. His test weights were 59 to 60 pounds, moisture 9 to 10.5 percent, and yields ranged from 20 bushels per acre to 45 bushels per acre.

Elkhart Coop in Springfield described harvest in their area as slowing down and wrapping up, at 90 percent complete. Moisture content ranged from 9 to 12 percent, test weights were 59 to 62 pounds per bushel, and yields reported were 10 to 25 bushels per acre.

A Walsh-area wheat farmer reported harvest for their farm had progressed to 85 percent complete. They were harvesting irrigated wheat. Irrigated PlainsGold Brawl CL Plus hard red winter wheat was yielding 85 bushels per acre, moisture content was 9 to 10 percent, and test weights were good at 62 to 63 pounds per bushel.

A Lamar area family wheat farm also finished with harvest on Wednesday. In the fields that didn’t get blown out this winter, yields ranged between 10 and 20 bushels per acre. The best field was 30 bushels per acre. There was a lot of wheat in the area that did blow out and was not harvested.

Tempel Grain in Wiley reported harvest winding down, with overall yields in irrigated wheat 50 to 60 bushels per acre, and dryland zero to 10 bushels per acre. Harvest at their Bethune location is still slow because of rain.

A Brandon area wheat farmer was about 60 percent done with harvest on his farm and had been able to continue harvesting by moving around to avoid fields that had received rain. Moisture content was 9 percent, test weight averaged 62 pounds per bushel, protein was 11.5 percent, and yields in the PlainsGold Byrd they were harvesting had been 20 to 25 bushels per acre.

Cargill-Cheyenne Wells said harvest was about 80 percent complete for their intake area. Showers continued to delay farmers getting in the field. Moisture content was 11.4 percent. Test weights were 59 to 61 pounds per bushel. Protein content was still high at 13 percent. Yields were still as high as 65 bushels per acre in dryland wheat from north of Cheyenne Wells, to as low 3 to 15 bushels per acre from the south. Amelia Coyle had travelled the area on Thursday and said harvest around Holly was pretty well wrapped up, there was still some harvesting going on in Lamar, and that things had slowed down a bit around Sheridan Lake and Cheyenne Wells but that harvest was still steady in those areas. She expected to see irrigated wheat start to come in late this weekend.

Cargill-Burlington said farmers were in a hurry to get grain cut while the weather held, with more moisture predicted in the area for this afternoon and weekend. Moisture content averaged 13.5 percent. Average test weight was 62 pounds per bushel. Protein content averaged 13 percent. Yields ranged from 8 bushels per acre in hail-damaged wheat to 80 bushel per acre in irrigated wheat. Harvest is about 55 percent complete for their area, but there is still a lot of wheat out there to be harvested.

Cargill-Byers said harvest had been picking up a little bit, with 100 truck loads yesterday, but was only about 3 percent complete. Moisture content was 13 percent, test weight was 59-60 pounds per bushel, and protein content was 12 to 13 percent. Harvest is only one to two percent complete for that area. Yields in hailed wheat were 10 to 30 bushels per acre, and 50 to 100 bushels per acre in wheat that had not been touched by the hail.

A Byers wheat farmer started harvest on Wednesday and was waiting for custom harvesters to arrive who had been held up in Kansas. Harvest was barely started on their farm but they were cutting a field of PlainsGold Byrd that yielded 75 bushels per acre, with protein content of 10 to 11 percent, test weight of 62 pounds per bushel, and moisture content of 12 percent. They had also harvested some PlainsGold Snowmass hard white winter wheat which was yielding 70 bushels per acre.

Flagler Coop reports that harvest around their five locations has been picking up considerably this week. Yesterday was their busiest day yet with 155 loads coming in and traffic was steady this morning. Moisture content averaged 12.8 percent, test weight was 59.82 pounds per bushel, protein content was 12.7 percent, and yields in the south side of their intake area ranged from 20 to 30 bushels per acre, while yields in the north area were better, above 50 bushels per acre. They estimated harvest at 20 percent complete for their area.

A Genoa wheat farmer had harvested one field that was just converted from CRP to wheat, which yielded 30 bushels per acre. The rest of their wheat was still too green to harvest.

CHS Otis took their first load of wheat on the 6th of July, and reported that the last two days had been busy. Moisture content varied widely but averaged 12.5 percent. Test weight was 62 pounds per bushel, protein was 12.2 percent, and yields were 30 to 65 bushels per acre.

An Otis wheat farmer said all of his wheat still had moisture too high to harvest. It was foggy this morning, and he was going to try to harvest again on Saturday.

CHS Yuma reports that harvest has progressed to about 50 percent complete for the Yuma area, 75 percent complete around Idalia and Wray, 10 percent complete for Otis and about 5 percent complete for Akron. Damp weather was still hindering harvest and keeping farmers from having a full day in the fields. CHS’ Jim Lengel said it would help harvest progress if the farmers could “start when they needed to and quit when they had to.”

Moisture content ranged from 10 to 16 percent, test weights were 12.1 to 14 pounds per bushel, and protein ranged from 12.1 to 14 percent, with wheat from the Brush area being lower in protein, about 10.5 to 11 percent. Yields were better than expected: in the Idalia area, yields were 40 to 95 bushels per acre, the Yuma/Wray area had 40 to 70 bushel per acre yields, and the Otis/Akron area had yields around 45 bushels per acre.

A Yuma area farmer reported moving into their better wheat and seeing yields increase from 50 bushels per acre to 72 bushels per acre in the wheat they were currently harvesting. All of the wheat they had harvested so far had been PlainsGold Byrd. Moisture content was 12 percent, test weight at 63 pounds per bushel, and protein content was holding steady at 13 percent.

CHS Grainland in Holyoke/Haxtun estimated harvest at 15 percent complete for their area. Fog and humidity in the area were slowing down progress this morning. Moisture content averaged 12.5 percent, test weight was 62.1 pounds per bushel, protein content average was 12.2 percent, and average yields for wheat that had not been hailed were 50 to 60 bushels per acre.

A Haxtun wheat farmer was out spraying other crops this morning because the humidity was 94 percent and that was keeping him from the wheat fields. He thought he might be able to harvest again this afternoon by 1:00 p.m. He had mostly harvested PlainsGold Brawl CL Plus, which had been between 11 and 13 percent moisture, 61 pounds per bushel test weight, and was yielding about 50 bushels per acre. One small field of Brawl had yielded 80 bushels per acre, with 65 pounds per bushel test weight. Harvest was about 25 percent complete for their farm.

A Keenesburg wheat farmer reported excellent dryland yields, from 55 to 75 bushels per acre.

Roggen Farmers’ Elevator said harvest was still slow in the area and only about 5 percent complete. There is still a lot of green wheat in the area. The wheat that is dry is very dry but the rest of wheat is still too green and too wet. Protein content was 11.5 percent, and test weight 60 pounds per bushel. Yields were reported to be 50 to 60 bushels per acre.

Harvest on a Roggen family farm was progressing slowly, with another shower last night keeping them out of the fields. They had harvested some Plainsgold Antero which yielded 60 bushels per acre, with 12 to 13 percent moisture content.

USDA’s latest Crop Production Estimate, issued today, forecasts U.S. winter wheat production at 1.37 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the June 1 forecast and down 11 percent from 2013. Based on July 1 conditions, the United States yield is forecast at 42.2 bushels per acre, down 0.2 bushel from last month and down 5.2 bushels from last year. The area expected to be harvested for grain or seed totals 32.4 million acres, unchanged from the Acreage report released on June 30, 2014 but up slightly from last year.

USDA’s latest estimate for winter wheat production in Colorado is 86.4 million bushels, down from the June estimate of 89.25. Acreage for harvest is estimated at 2.4 million acres, which is up 760,000 acres from 1.64 million acres last year. Average yield is forecast at 36.0 bushels per acre, up 9.0 bushels per acre from last year’s yield of 27.0 bushels per acre.

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