With temperatures soaring into triple digits over the last week, the irrigated wheat in the area was ready for harvest. The images of the combine and tractor appear distorted due to the heat waves rolling off this field east of Imperial Saturday. (Johnson Publications photo)
With all of the dryland wheat crop in the bin, focus has shifted to the irrigated wheat crop. Here, Russ Fitzke moves through a field of irrigated wheat east of Imperial Saturday. The combine is equipped with a stripper header that strips off the wheat head while leaving the straw standing. (Johnson Publications photo)
This summer’s wheat harvest all but in bin
In late June, it looked like this year’s wheat harvest would be early.
But true to form, harvest didn’t get rolling until around the 4th of July.
The dryland wheat was harvested first. As farmers were working on that, temperatures soared, bringing the irrigated wheat crop to maturity on the heels of the dryland harvest.
By the end of this week, wheat harvest in Chase and Perkins Counties will be complete, according to estimates by farmers and elevator operators.
Last year, Frenchman Valley Coop (FVC) took in a record amount of wheat. That’s not going to happen this year, but yields will be in line with 5-10 year averages, according to FVC Grain Manager Kyle Sorensen.
Dryland yields varied this year due to some wheat streak mosaic disease in the area.
Sorensen estimated dryland yields in the 60 bushels per acre
(bu/ac) range with highs and lows from that. He said he heard numerous reports of 70-90 bu/ac yields.
Certified seed grower Tom Luhrs said he had a grower who produced 100 bu/ac hard red winter wheat on dryland this year.
Sorensen said it was a mixed bag this year for protein content in the wheat. Most of the wheat they saw ran 10 percent or better.
That’s better than last year when protein content ran in the 8-9 percent range.
Hard white winter wheat is grown primarily under irrigation in Chase County but Luhrs said he does have some seed being grown on dryland, as well.
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