The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

June 21, 2013

Results mixed: Wheat test weights ‘all over the place’

ENID, Okla. — Oklahoma is showing mixed results in this year’s ongoing wheat harvest. The results differ from region to region.

The Alva area is more than half finished with harvest, said Ronnie Truelock, general manager of Farmer’s Co-op of Alva.

“The test weights are all over the place,” Truelock said.

He has been seeing test weights ranging from 50 to 60 pounds per bushel. Yields are also spread out, anywhere from 20 to 40 bushels per acre, Truelock said.  

To be graded No. 1 and command the best price, wheat should have a test weight of 60 per bushel.

“Some farmers are indicating they were getting more than expected,” Truelock said, but their previous expectations were not high. Much of the “wheat opportunity” was decimated due to late freezes this spring and the ongoing drought.

Yields in the Alva area are 50 to 60 percent below the average, he said, with “quite a few acres lost to the drought.” Due to high humidity during this year’s harvest, dockage has been higher that normal, especially compared to last year.  

“It’s a tough one,” Truelock said.

The Kingfisher area is about 40 percent completed with harvest, said Mike Rosen, general manager at Wheeler Brothers Grain Co. When harvest first started, test weights were averaging 59 to 62 pounds per bushel, but after the rain last weekend, those weights have dropped down to 58 to 60, Rosen said. The rain also has slowed harvest, keeping combines from fields.

“We’re fighting mud,” Rosen said.

Yields started at 40 bushels per acre, but Rosen expects those numbers to taper off as farmers begin cutting poorer stands and fields with later growth. He said this year’s yields still are looking better than he previously guessed.

“Overall, it’s a pleasant surprise,” Rosen said.

Kingfisher’s numbers are consistent with the north and central regions of Oklahoma. Mike Schlute, executive director of Oklahoma Wheat Commission, said the statewide harvest is about 40 percent complete. The north and central regions are recording test weights around 59 to 62 pounds per bushel, although, parallel to Rosen’s statement, Schulte expects those numbers to decline because of the recent rain.

Yield reports in the Enid area have been varied, from the mid-20s to as high as 60 bushels an acre, according to an Oklahoma Wheat Commission update. Many reports are showing 40 to 55 bushels an acre.

The northwest and Panhandle regions are seeing the results of the severe drought, getting test weights around 56 to 57, and some getting 52 or less, Schulte said.

The southwest, west and Panhandle had some crop abandonment, but some yields in the south and southwest are doing better than expected at 20 to 25 bushels per acre, he said.

“For the state, it’s probably going to be a better crop than previously anticipated,” Schulte said.

The central and north regions benefited from moisture, cloud cover and cooler-than-normal temperatures.

“It was perfect grain-fill weather,” Schulte said.

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