Wheat Harvest Way Behind Schedule Though Crop Remains Mostly in Good Condition Despite RainWed, 19 Jun 2019 12:27:00 CDT
SUNUP host Dave Deken caught up with Josh Lofton, Assistant Professor and Cropping Systems Extension Specialist at Oklahoma State University’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, to discuss the current condition of the state’s wheat crop and how the 2019 harvest is progressing. According to Lofton, persistently wet conditions have significantly slowed harvest’s progress. However, while some fields have been damaged due to the rain, Lofton says most of the wheat that is still standing continues to look very good. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“We’re severely behind. This time last year we were nearly most of the way done,” he said, noting that the latest reports have pegged Oklahoma’s harvest at around 16 to 18 percent done. “That’s quite a bit down from what we normally are this time of year. A lot of wheat is ready, it’s just the rains have been keeping the combines out of the fields.”
According to Lofton, most of the state has already received its annual rainfall amounts during the first five months of this year anywhere from 20 to 30 inches. While much of that fell early in the year, he says a tremendous amount has fallen more recently. Lofton explains that it is not necessarily the total amounts that have hurt farmers but rather the cycle of rainfall every three or four days that prevents harvesters from entering fields.
“It gets just about dry enough to where growers can start to harvest and we get a rain shower event which takes us out of the field for another couple days,” Lofton said.
Prior to the rains around April, Lofton says this crop looked exceptional. He contends that the majority of it still does though there have been reports of lodging - enough apparently to force some fields to be either abandoned or hayed. Aside from those cases, though, Lofton says the crop’s quality has held up fairly well.
“The quality itself is fairly good. Proteins are relatively high - either normal or slightly higher than normal,” he reported. “We’re hearing a little about the test weights being down, but the yields seem to be pretty good to excellent for most areas.”
You can listen to Lofton speak more about the 2019 Oklahoma wheat crop and harvest, as well as this year’s canola and corn crop condition, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
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