Fears of Late Harvest in Oklahoma Subside as Warm Weather Arrives to Put '18 Crop Back on TrackTue, 15 May 2018 17:00:49 CDT
As the wheat industry field days begin to wrap up for this year, Mike Schulte, executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission dropped by the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Studios to visit with Farm Director Ron Hays about his observations and expectations for this crop once harvest arrives - which according to Schulte is not too far off. Listen to Schulte and Hays speak about the condition of the 2018 Oklahoma wheat crop in their complete interview, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“I think in southwest Oklahoma the opportunity exists that we will be cutting by Memorial Day weekend,” Schulte said. “No doubt, the last two days have really turned the crop, the early varieties, certainly. So, I think we’re going to be kind of right on schedule where we normally are with harvest in Oklahoma.”
Prior to the last week or two, Schulte joined others in the belief that this crop would encounter a late harvest, given the cooler temperatures that have been sustained. However, he says the last several days, temperatures have warmed and helped significantly to promote grain fill.
Right now, Schulte says based on his observations traveling the state, the best-looking fields seem to be centered near the Wichita Falls and Lawton area through the southcentral corridor of the state - thanks to the timely rains the region received throughout the growing season. Unfortunately, though, not all fields across the state look as good. Schulte says the USDA’s recent crop report estimates production will fall short of what the Oklahoma Grain & Feed Association predicted a few weeks ago. OGFA pegged the crop at about 58 million bushels total production, however, USDA has come out with its estimates of 2 million acres harvested with 26 bpa average yield at a total production of 52 million bushels. Schulte says this is a historic crop - the lowest planted acres in Oklahoma since 1913 and the lowest on a regional scale since 1909.
While that may help move more of the old stocks taking up space, Schulte says such a short crop will definitely be felt by elevators, both private and coop.
“This is going to hurt us and our producers this coming year,” he said. “It’s not good to have elevators sitting there with grain not moving into them.”
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