Colorado Winter Wheat Harvest
July 13, 2011
As of Monday, July 11, USDA estimates Colorado winter wheat at 35 percent harvested, compared to 21 percent last week, 38 percent last year, and the five year average of 44 percent.
Harvest didn’t advance much the last two days as most of the Eastern Plains of Colorado continued to be in a monsoonal moisture pattern. Dallas at Cargill Burlington said “Rain, rain, go away” is the sentiment around Burlington as they have only received a few loads the last two days when farmers have been able to cut late in the afternoon. It was drizzly and wet again this morning in Burlington. They have seen test weights on the wheat they have received dropping down to around 58 to 58.5 pounds per bushel.
Cargill-Cheyenne Wells estimates harvest at 93 percent complete for their area. They had been taking some wheat because it hadn’t rained in the area, but rain in the northern part of the county was slowing harvest wrap-up. Average moisture content was 12.5 percent, test weights averaged 61.2 pounds per bushel, and 11.0 percent protein content. Jim Lengel says there is still green wheat around that is waiting to be cut, but that a farmer near Wild Horse yesterday was cutting a large field and getting a yield of 30 bushels to the acre. He was travelling north of I-70 yesterday, and estimates there are some fields in the Vernon (near Yuma) area which will produce yields in the 80 bushel to the acre range when they are ready to cut.
A Limon area grower estimated it will be early to mid week next week before they are able to cut wheat. An Eads farmer who is usually done with harvest by now had only been able to cut one field this week, and was waiting again on wheat to be ready, not because of rain, but because of delayed ripening.
On July 12, USDA raised the Colorado winter wheat estimated yield to 36 bushels per acre from the earlier estimate of 32 bushels per acre, for total production of 72 million bushels, with 2 million acres harvested. This estimate compares with 105.75 million bushels produced in Colorado last year and the 10-year average of 67 million bushels.