The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 1, 2013

Wheat harvest exceeding expectations in some parts of state, but not in others


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Wheat harvest is winding down throughout northwest Oklahoma, and results are mixed.

In some places, yields and quality have been about what was expected, which wasn’t much.

In other places, the crop has been much better than anticipated.

Three years of drought and several late days of freezing temperatures in April caused a lot of concern among agricultural experts.

Generally, as we know this doesn’t hold true in all instances, but it’s a rough approximation, the wheat around Enid and in Kingfisher County has exceeded expectations.

Reports of yields up to 60 bushels an acre and higher have been seen. In other places, yields in the teens are commonplace.

In some areas of the state, though, the drought and freezing temperatures meant farmers cut their wheat for hay and didn’t even try to harvest.

Last year, Oklahoma enjoyed a pretty good wheat crop, with some 154.8 million bushels harvested.

We were fortunate to have rain at the times most beneficial for wheat, and freezing temperatures late in the growing season didn’t happen.

Last year’s crop was up considerably from 2011, when only 70.4 million bushels were harvested.

Crop size has been on a roller coaster in recent years. A bountiful 166.5-million-bushel crop in 2008 was followed by a 77-million-bushel crop in 2009.

That was followed by a crop measuring 120.9 million bushels in 2010. One early estimate for this year’s crop predicted 85.5 million bushels.

Time will tell how close the actual numbers are to that figure, but it appears that the situation depends greatly on location.

Some areas seem to be having a pretty good crop, other locations not so much.

Wheat remains a big part of northwest Oklahoma’s economy, so we’re glad to see so many reports of better-than-expected wheat.