Wheat harvest wrapping up in Colorado | TheFencePost.com

Wheat harvest wrapping up in Colorado

Yields were high despite some lodging and hail damage in some northeastern counties.
Photo courtesy Jana Ewing

Wheat harvest in Colorado is just about in the bin for many producers. According to the U.S. Wheat Associates Harvest Report, Colorado’s harvest was 94 percent complete as of Aug. 2. As of Aug. 8, Colorado Wheat called harvest 94 percent complete.

According to Colorado Wheat’s Communication Director Madison Andersen, Roggen Farmers Elevator in Weld County reports to be mostly complete, with a few fields still left to be cut. Numbers in this area have remained the same, with test weights above 60 pounds and average protein around 11 percent.

Cargill-Byers reports to be about 95 percent complete. Test weights are ranging 58-64 pounds, with protein ranging from 8.5-13.5 percent.

West Plains in Johnstown reports to be in the last part of harvest and anticipates completion within the next week. Average test weights have been around 61 pounds and average protein has been around 11 percent.

According to Andersen, growers across portions of Weld, Morgan, Logan and Washington counties reported lodging, in some cases severe, from sawfly cutting. Newly affected areas reporting damage included Yuma and Phillips counties. She said the USDA estimate for the state was 88 million bushels and she anticipates surpassing that estimate.

“In the southeastern part of the state, Baca and Prowers county, last year was a pretty rough year for them and they did see some hail but what didn’t see hail was averaging around 70,” Andersen said. Some dryland field yields were reported as high as 80 bushels.

Cheyenne County, which also saw some damaging hail, averaged around 50 as well.

As of July 31, CHS Grainland in northeastern Colorado reported 98 percent completion, with an average test weight of 61 pounds and average protein of 10 percent. Average yields in the area were between 65 and 70 bushels per acre.

Harvest completion jumped from 22 percent on July 16 to 65 percent on July 21. In northeastern Colorado, yields reported were some of the best on record. Brian Starkebaum, current president of the Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee reported his use of a new hard white wheat yielded 85 bushels, 61 pounds per bushel and 11.5 percent protein.

Roggen Farmers Elevator in Weld County reported some yields as low as 30 bushels per acre due to the freeze on May 22, with other fields yielding up to 70 bushels per acre. Across the area, the average anticipated yield is 55 bushels per acre, an increase of 20 bushels from last year.

The majority of harvest didn’t begin until July 1, with harvest in northeastern Colorado running about two weeks behind due to cool temperatures and rain.

Danell Kalcevic of Kalcevic Farms in Bennett, Colo., said they began cutting July 15 and finished July 31. Some days started or ended late depending on moisture, but they were able to cut every day. She said yields ranged from 16-82, depending on freeze damage and location.

They experienced some loss due to sawfly damage at their location near Lindon and she said she’s hopeful new solid stem varieties might offer some remedy if the yields are comparable.

The Kalcevic crew ranged in age from 16-82, with a mix of family and employees. She said seven of the fifth generation children were a part of the crew this year.

“We’re really blessed with incredible people,” she said. ❖

— Gabel is an assistant editor and reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at rgabel@thefencepost.com or (970) 392-4410.