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Combines running in Oklahoma wheat country

Agriculture.com Staff 05/30/2008 @ 2:51pm

Wheat harvest is underway in Oklahoma, with test cutting in the central part of the state that's finding test weights in the 60-pound-per-bushel range. But, a wider range of yield tallies have been seen so far.

Test cutting unfolded into "field-scale harvesting" on Thursday, just north of Highway 62, according to Oklahoma Wheat Commission executive director Mark Hodges. The east-west highway bisects the state, running through Oklahoma City.

Test weights have ranged from 61 to 65 pounds in test cutting, with moisture levels ranging from 13% to 15%, Hodges says. Some test weights of 65 pounds in wheat above 13% moisture have been reported.

"Jagger is the most predominate variety currently ready to harvest, but just one really good drying day and combines would be running in most areas south of Highway 62," he adds.

"Like most years, yield reports have been all over the board, but most common reports within a region have been upper 30s to lower 40s (in bushels per acre)," Hodges continues. "This is only a sampling of less than 10% of the total crop, so it is unwise to make blanket statements about what the final numbers might be."

Though favorable conditions are expected to persist through this weekend in much of the southern Plains, wheat farmers will have an eye to the sky. Thus far, the rough weather's steered clear of areas where harvest crews are running, but storm damage has been noted in other parts of the state.

"If the current weather conditions persist (forecast if favorable) we should be cutting wheat in all locations in the southern half of Oklahoma by Sunday or Monday if not before, at least on the earlier maturing varieties like Jagger and Overley," Hodges says. "The biggest concern is the continuing severe weather (outside the area currently being harvested). Hail, high winds and flooding threaten most other areas of the state making producers very nervous about getting this crop in the bin."

Wheat harvest is underway in Oklahoma, with test cutting in the central part of the state that's finding test weights in the 60-pound-per-bushel range. But, a wider range of yield tallies have been seen so far.

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