Too Early to Say for Sure, But OK Wheat Crop Seems Better Than Most Expected So Far This HarvestTue, 11 Jun 2019 22:20:46 CDT
Oklahoma is less than two weeks into its 2019 wheat harvest season since it first began at the end of May. During that time, harvesters have been slowly working their way across the southwestern region of the state as weather has permitted. Though weather still threatens to delay harvest progress, Oklahoma Wheat Commission Executive Director Mike Schulte says harvest has reached central Oklahoma as of Tuesday afternoon. He sat down with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn to discuss the latest reports that have come in from the field and from the elevators across the state on the quality of the wheat that has been harvested so far. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
According to Schulte, early reports indicate that wheat this year does not possess the level of protein the industry would have hoped. Early reports suggest an average ranging somewhere between 10.5 to 11.5 percent – though there have been some reports of 13 percent protein wheat in central Oklahoma. Schulte points out that in the case of Oklahoma State University developed varieties (which makes up much of Oklahoma’s planted acres), these varieties are developed with a different focus on protein and while the quantitative number might not be there – they still perform better than other varieties in the marketplace.
Where protein is lacking though, test weights and yields make up for that and have proven to be better than expected. Oklahoma has averaged test weights of 59-60 lb./bu. and yields averaging about 35 to 45 bpa with some instances of as much as 50, 60, even 70 bpa.
“Those reports are few and far between, but I think given all that the crop has gone through this year with the excessive moisture across the state, it’s kind of exciting to see,” Schulte said. “Maybe if we can get out in the field, it will be better than we expected. Looking at the 10-day forecast though, I realize that we are not out of the woods yet with this crop. We’ll just have to wait and see what Mother Nature deals us and what we’re up against.”
Taking into the account of the weather events that have already occurred, Schulte believes Oklahoma’s crop may have sustained roughly a 20 percent loss in production attributed to flooding, excessive rains and hail damage. USDA, in its Crop Production report released Tuesday, estimates the crop at approximately 111 million bushels at 37 bpa. All things considered, Schulte concurs with the USDA’s report and remains curious to see how the market shapes up as focus continues to stay trained on corn planting and the implications that might have on other grains.
Regardless of what has been reported, Schulte says it is simply too early to make any definitive calls on this crop. Nonetheless, Schulte says he shares in producers and elevator managers’ excitement at these positive results however early - but is also cautiously hoping for rains to refrain for the next few days to allow harvesters a chance to get into their fields.
“I think we’re going to get there. Based on early cuttings, today when you talk to producers, they’re hopeful because it (the wheat) has held up much better than what they had expected it was going to do,” Schulte said. “So, yeah, I’m a little bit more optimistic than I was a month and a half ago just based on where we were going into this crop. But I think there could be potential we might have relatively decent crop for producers and maybe there’s going to be some price opportunities.”
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