Winter Wheat Harvest Reports Up and Down

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A DTN report says any winter wheat that survived the growing season is likely looking pretty good come harvest time. However, field survival between planting and harvesting could be a little “iffy.” A delayed harvest is finally getting underway in the Southern Plains. Mike Schulte, executive director for the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, says, “It’s been a trying year for producers, especially from April through harvest. It seemed like every night, the potential existed for us to lose the crop.” Between the delayed planting and overwhelming amounts of rain, plus the typical spring and summer hailstorms, a lot of wheat fields were either left unplanted or lost altogether. However, a Kansas State University Extension Wheat Specialist says the fields that did survive were able to benefit from plenty of soil moisture and below-average temperatures during the grain fill period. The biggest concerns this year was that the crop was so far behind in development during the spring that it was going to catch a lot of the summer heat during grain fill. However, the crop benefited from very good weather, featuring near-perfect temperatures that stayed cool even into July. Kyle Krier is a Kansas farmer who tells DTN that the early-planted wheat is doing better than the crop that was late getting into the ground.