July 14, 2014 Colorado Winter Wheat Harvest Update

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Monday, July 14, 2014

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

Winter wheat harvest is mostly wrapped up in the far southeastern part of the state, but continues along the rest of the Eastern Plains of Colorado, with farmers harvesting whenever the fields and wheat are dry enough. Widespread rain Sunday evening had most farmers waiting for fields to dry out again, and most elevators reported things were pretty slow this weekend.

Colorado Wheat estimates harvest for the state today at 50 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 Brandon area wheat farmer was about 70 percent done with harvest on his farm and had been able to continue harvesting by moving around to avoid fields that had received up to an inch of rain. They were harvesting some wheat that was yielding 30 bushels per acre.

Cargill-Cheyenne Wells said harvest was about 95 percent complete for their south intake area and 60 percent complete for the north. Rain last amounting to 1.5” to 2” in some areas had brought harvest to a halt, and some farmers weren’t expected to get out into the fields for the next two to three days. Moisture content was 13 percent. Test weights dropped a little to an average of 60 pounds per bushel. Protein content was still high at 13.2 percent.

Cargill-Burlington said they had a busy weekend but that rain of about .75” in the area had slowed things down again. Moisture content averaged 11.5 percent. Average test weight was 61.5 pounds per bushel. Protein content averaged 13.1 percent. Yields ranged from 6 bushels per acre in hail-damaged wheat to 80 bushels per acre in irrigated wheat, with one field of dryland wheat at 50 bushels per acre. Harvest is about 70 percent complete for their area, with a lot of irrigated wheat still to be harvested.

Cargill-Byers said the weekend had been slow, with rain Friday and Saturday, and consequently, only about 55 loads of wheat were brought in all weekend. They didn’t have as much rain Sunday night so some farmers in the area were hoping to get started with harvest again at noon today. Harvest was still 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. 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 also reported that they were unable to harvest for most of the last three days, but were hoping to be out again by noon today.

Flagler Coop reported last Friday was their biggest day so far, but rain over the weekend slowed down farmers in their area. They only received 27 loads of wheat over the weekend, and don’t expect to see many trucks today, after rain again last night. Moisture content averaged 12 percent, test weight was 60 pounds per bushel and protein content was 12 percent. They estimate that 90 percent of the winter wheat in their area had received some hail, and yields were consequently lower. They estimated harvest at 25 percent complete for their area.

CHS Otis also reported not much activity Friday and over the weekend, and the area had received more rain yesterday evening.

An Otis wheat farmer still hadn’t been able to get in the fields as he had received .5” of moisture Friday evening and .8” with some hail yesterday, and the fields were still too wet.

CHS Yuma reports that harvest has progressed to about 40 percent complete for their full intake area from Idalia to Brush, and about 50 percent complete around Yuma. The weekend was slow and it rained again last night. Moisture content averaged 12.2 percent, test weights were 63 pounds per bushel, and protein averaged 63 pounds per bushel. Yields were expected to average 50 to 55 bushels per acre.

CHS Grainland in Holyoke/Haxtun estimated harvest at 40 percent complete for their area. The weekend had been relatively slow with rain in the area. Moisture content averaged 12.1 percent, test weight was 61 pounds per bushel, protein content average was 12.5 percent, and average yields for wheat that had not been hailed were 50 to 60 bushels per acre. There was additional hail with the rain Sunday evening.

A Sterling wheat farmer hoped to get started with harvest today. Last week he still had a lot of green wheat because of the late planting last fall. He said there were a few combines going west of Sterling late last week. One of his neighbors reported some wheat at 64 pounds per bushel test weight. Another’s yield was in the forties.

Roggen Farmers’ Elevator said farmers were cutting around the rain when they could. Not enough progress had been made to advance harvest from 5 percent complete. Protein content was 11.5 percent, and test weight 60 pounds per bushel or higher. Yields were reported to be 50 to 60 bushels per acre.

A Roggen-area farmer estimated harvest at 20 percent complete on his farm by Saturday. Yields have been 29 to 42 bushels per acre. PlainsGold Brawl CL Plus had protein around 13 percent and moisture 11.6 percent. They were harvesting a field of PlainsGold Hatcher with yields of 62 bushels per acre and moisture 11.5 percent.  They were rained out Friday night with .15” of rain.

Harvest at Midcap Farm, south of Wiggins, Saturday, July 12.

Harvest at Midcap Farm, south of Wiggins, Saturday, July 12.

From USDA’s July 11 Crop Production Estimate:

Based on July 1 conditions, winter wheat production in Colorado is forecast at 86.4 million bushels, down 3 percent from the June 1 forecast but 95 percent above the 44.3 million bushels produced last year. Estimated acreage for harvest, at 2.40 million acres, is down 150,000 acres from June 1, but 760,000 acres more than the 1.64 million acres harvested in 2013. As of July 1, the average yield is forecast at 36.0 bushels per acre, 1.0 bushel above the June 1 forecast, and 9.0 bushels above last year’s final yield.

U.S. winter wheat production is forecast 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. Hard Red Winter production, at 703 million bushels, is down 2 percent from last month. Soft Red Winter, at 458 million bushels, is up 1 percent from the June forecast. White Winter, at 206 million bushels, is up slightly from last month. Of the White Winter production, 10.6 million bushels are Hard White and 196 million bushels are Soft White.

To receive this harvest update by email, email gmostek@coloradowheat.org.

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