Wheat harvest yields mixed results

By Justin Walker

Winter wheat harvest continues across Texas, and the impact of the drought is being noticed.

Brent Wilhelm, a grain marketer for Ag Producer Co-op in Olton, said high temperatures and gusting winds have caused low wheat yields for much of the wheat harvested in the South Plains.

“The drought has had a big impact on the wheat,” he told Southwest Farm Press. “I don’t know the percentage, but the receipts are going to be down considerably because of the drought. There’s not really much wheat out there to be harvested and what’s out there, the yields aren’t very good at all.”

Despite low yields, test weights have been good so far.

“The quality is probably better than it has been the last couple of years,” Wilhelm said. “It just seems that’s the way Mother Nature works: less quantity, more quality.”

Test weights have had an average of more than 60 pounds per bushel, despite grains looking smaller than normal. Protein levels have rated at 12 percent or more on the first set of samples the co-op received.

“The protein and test weights are holding in pretty good. It’s really kind of surprising,” Wilhelm said.

Tullie Struve, a farmer in Lamb County, said his crop has been a variety of harvestable wheat and low test weights and yield.

“Of what we’ve harvested, the yields, though not great, are not as bad as I thought they would be, as dry of a winter and spring that we had,” Struve said in an interview with Southwest Farm Press.

Low wheat prices at planting also impacted the amount of wheat being harvested.

“It’s not going to be much of a crop, especially here,” Wilhelm said. “The price wasn’t’ very good to begin with, and guys would have had to have irrigated it considerably to even have it make anything. A lot of guys opted out to graze it out and terminate it and try to plant cotton—all I know is it’s not going to be much.”

Texas wheat production is expected to be a little over 43 million bushels, down 37 percent from last year.

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