KANSAS CITY — The harvest of a much smaller crop than last year is underway in the top hard red winter wheat producing state of Kansas, with 2% of the crop combined as of June 10 compared with none a week earlier, 3% a year ago and 2% as the 2013-17 average for the date, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its weekly Crop Progress report.
A Day 1 report of the harvest from the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association noted that harvest already had moved into central Kansas.
“Kansas wheat harvest really got rolling over the hot, dry weekend,” the report said. “Combines can be seen cutting across the state from south central Kansas through the central corridor. Reports of harvest span as far west as Meade county and as far north as Mitchell county; however, most of these areas are just getting started.”
Steve Inslee at OK Coop Grain Co. in Kiowa, Kas., said harvest in that area has been quick and will be wrapped up by the end of the week if the hot, dry weather continues. He estimated average yield in the area around 25 bus per acre, test weight at 60 lbs per bu and protein above average.
Mike Morlan at Progressive Ag Coop in Sumner and Harper counties said harvest began in earnest on June 8 and would be completed in 7 to 10 days if the weather remained hot and dry, due in part to reduced acreage. He estimated average yield in Harper county at 25 bus per acre and in Sumner county at 35 bus per acre, with test weights averaging just over 60 lbs per bu and protein average to slightly above average.
Scott Van Allen, a farmer in Sumner county, said the wheat was short, but test weights were good at 58 to 61 lbs per bu and yields a little better than expected in the low 40-bu-per-acre area.
The U.S.D.A. in May forecast Kansas wheat production at 270,100,000 bus, down 19% from 2017 as higher planted area was more than offset by sharply lower yields and increased abandonment due largely to drought.
Harvest also was moving quickly across Texas and Oklahoma. The U.S.D.A. said Texas wheat was 58% harvested by June 10 compared with 40% as the average for the date, and Oklahoma wheat was 49% combined compared with 28% as the average. Winter wheat production in May was forecast by the U.S.D.A. at 43,200,000 bus in Texas, down 37% from 2017, and at 52,000,000 bus in Oklahoma, down 47%.