USA:Wheat harvest ‘average,’ farmers say

Fields of stubble is all that remains where waving seas of wheat once stood earlier this summer, reported “Kazakh-Zerno” NA with reference to the “Augusta Gazette“.
The harvest concluded at the start of this month for the wheat capitol of the world. Numbers from this year’s crops are still being harvested for Sumner County but the consensus is the 2010 harvest was an average one.
“I think over all it ended up with an average crop,” said Curt Guinn, General Manager at Farmers Co-op Grain Association in Wellington. “Better than the last two years, but still pretty much average.”
Local farmer and Crop Insurance Specialist at Renn and Company, Inc in Wellington, Bob White said the crop ranged from average to slightly above.
“There were pockets of really, really good wheat,” White said. “And there were some that were pretty poor.”
The K-State Research and Extension office in Sumner County has been monitoring a couple of plots of wheat that were planted for data collection. The Caldwell Plots had an average yield of 51.06, the Conway Springs plots average yield was 50.03. The yields at Farmers Co-op had a wide range.
“I’ve heard from 22 up to 55 bushel,” Guinn said.
The average at Farmer’s Co-op was right around the mid 30’s.
Guinn also said that the weather caused a few problems a year ago, but this year it cooperated better with the farmers. According to White, wet weather during the planting season had a major effect on this summer’s harvest.
“The wet weather last fall delayed planting on some of it,” White said. “And kind of what we’re seeing is the early planted wheat was the better wheat.”
He explained that the people who planted the fields in September and the first week of October got in ahead of the rains.
Renn and Company also sponsored the Wheat King contest and announced the winner during the Wheat Festival. Arlen Baumgartner was the winner, he had a 63 lb test and 12.5 percent protein.
“Which is excellent,” White explained. “Sixty pounds is the norm and usually our wheat around here runs 10 to 11 percent.”
The harvest was a busy one, but there are still fields to tend to and other crops to grow until next year’s wheat harvest. There is no doubt, the traffic through the co-op last month had a pace as blistering as the heat.
“At times we took in a hundred-thousand bushel a day,” Guinn said.

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