Winter Wheat Crop Rated Fair, Harvest Delayed

Delayed winter wheat harvest, concerns for double crop beans.

Published on: Jul 22, 2013

Kyle Allen is delivering soybean seed to sow into wheat fields on July. It is just one more kink in Missouri's 2013 planting season.

Allen, who owns Allen Seed and Service in Hawk Point, says farmers in his area were still scrambling to plant their first crop of corn and soybeans by mid-June. The wet weather caused a delay in planting for the eastern portion of the state.

However, June is the time of year when farmers in the state are typically winding down corn planting, finishing up sowing soybeans and turning their attention to harvesting wheat. By the end of June, farmers have planted much of the double crop soybeans after wheat acres.

Still standing

Kyle Allen, owner of Allen Seed and Service in Hawk Point, says area farmers were behind, scrambling to finish planting corn and soybeans by mid-June, thanks to wet weather.
Kyle Allen, owner of Allen Seed and Service in Hawk Point, says area farmers were behind, scrambling to finish planting corn and soybeans by mid-June, thanks to wet weather.

Last year, about 60% of the wheat was harvested by June 9, according the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). However, this year there were no acres harvested in the state.

"We just did not have the heat to help the crop along," says Allen, who sells Channel seed. "The crop is just not turning." He says the wheat crop is also being threatened by rust, wheat scab and insects. "I don't think the wheat crop will turn out like we thought it would," he adds. "I hope I am wrong."

In north central Missouri, Matt Lambert says Allen could be right. "Our wheat crop is not looking very good at all this year," he says.  He planted his wheat acres near Brookfield in September and early October. "But we have had a lot of cool weather," he says. "It really slowed it down."

Poor quality

The USDA lowered its estimated winter wheat project o 49.4 million acres, down 950,000 bushels from last month, based solely on the crop's condition. According to the NASS, most of the wheat crop in the state is rated fair to good.

The poor quality and thin stands have some farmers reportedly giving up on the crop and turning to baling, and wrapping it for baleage. Many are motivated to remove the crop in order to plant double crop beans in a timely manner.

Typically, Lambert is finished cutting wheat by the third week in June. But this year that is not the case. His wheat crop will not make it. Still, he is not ready to give up on the crop just yet. "We will wait on it."

Allen says some of his customers are also waiting. He anticipates some of the wheat acres to be ready for harvest by the beginning of this month. It is just one more delay for an already extended 2013 planting season.

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