Winter wheat yields extremely variable across Great Plains

Winter wheat harvest is wrapping up in the Great Plains where a pair of farmers say their crop was a mixed bag.

Central Kansas farmer Keith Miller says drought, weed pressure and winter kill destroyed most of his crop. “We ended up killing 90 percent of it before harvest, and the 10 percent we left we should’ve probably destroyed it because it averaged 12 bushels to the acre.”

He says his area has received several small rain events, which could help get next year’s crop off to a good start. “The ground that we don’t have any crop right now has enough moisture to do ok, but where the milo and beans are it’s sucking the water out as fast as it can get it.  We don’t have much subsoil (moisture) there.”

South-Central Nebraska farmer Don Batie tells Brownfield he flood irrigated some of his acres. “The wheat closest to the pipeline by the soybeans was making 80.  Then at the other end of the field was making 50, so I would call that a decent crop.”

He tells Brownfield his wheat also suffered from similar issues like winter kill where he abandoned 80 acres and weed pressure. “The drizzly weather we had in the first half of July, the wheat was ready, but it wouldn’t dry down and the weeds have come on like gang busters.”

Batie says it was so weedy that he made the decision not to bale it for straw because of poor quality.

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