Wheat harvest in early stages
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Some years, the combine’s already back in the shed by now after an early wheat harvest. That’s not the case this year.
It’s already midway into the second week of July and not a lot of wheat has been cut in the Chase County area.
Most of what has been cut thus far has been dryland wheat, according to Kyle Sorensen, a grain merchandiser with Frenchman Valley Coop in Imperial.
Sorensen estimated that no more than 20 percent of this year’s crop has been cut, if even that much.
An inspection in the Imperial area Tuesday showed that very little irrigated wheat has been cut thus far.
Sorensen said they are getting some wheat at all of their locations throughout the Republican and Frenchman valleys.
He said the McCook area has made the most progress thus far, with an estimate of around 25 percent completion.
Some growers in the McCook/Culbertson area lost their wheat crop due to drought conditions. Rather than harvest what was there, Sorensen said those fields were baled for feed.
Temperatures that crept over 100°F in some areas over the weekend, along with high 90s early this week, will move the harvest along.
Over the next seven days, temperatures are forecast to hit highs from 92°F to 102°F.
Sorensen said quality of the wheat coming in so far shows good test weights, running from 58-62 pounds per bushel.
The cash price for wheat in Imperial on Wednesday morning, July 10, stood at $6.85 per bushel.