Nearly a week of rain halted the wheat harvest in much of Oklahoma and Texas and has stranded combines that should be in Kansas now.
Wheat Harvest 6/11: Oklahoma wheat a mix of good, bad
Yields ranged from 30 to 50 bushels per acre in Oklahoma and Texas, although 30 to 40 have been more common, with test weights mostly in the mid-50 pounds per bushel range.
The remnants of Tropical Storm Bill caused the latest delays as that rain moved north from the Texas' gulf coast into Oklahoma.
"I am in Oklahoma sitting in rain," Irvin Odegard said Thursday morning. "We haven't turned a wheel in a week."
Odegard, a harvester from Whitetail, Mont., hopes to be in the south-central Kansas town of Wellington this weekend, but needs dry weather to finish fields near Watonga in central Oklahoma. What has been cut near Watonga ranged from 40 to 50 pounds a bushel, versus a normal 60 pounds.
"We are going to be fighting mud again," he said of the Oklahoma fields.
The 2015 hard red winter wheat harvest has been slowed by abundant rain that made fields to muddy for equipment.
Mike Strunk is operating near Cherokee, Okla., just south of the Kansas border, where wet fields have slowed operations. Wheat there has yielded 35 to 40 bushels with test weights of 53 to 56.
"There are some disease issues," he said. "The wheat that has been cut is poor quality."
Strunk plans to have his combines in southwest Kansas by the weekend.
Chad Brink of Remer, Minn., reported yields of 35 to 50 bushels near Helena in north central Oklahoma, with test weights of about 54 lbs.
"I have not seen any sprout damage," he said, but there has been some rust.
Wet fields and high-moisture grain slowed Brink's harvesting efforts, but he still hopes to be in western Kansas next week.
Wheat Harvest 6/4: Wet fields, low yields found in Texas
Near Kiowa, in south central Kansas, the combines of Wolf Harvesting have been sidelined for about five days by wet fields. Harvesting will be attempted later on Thursday, said Janel Wolf of Belfield, N.D.
"We were cutting some 40 bushel (per acre) wheat and 60 pounds. Not bad at all," said Wolf.
As of Sunday, USDA reported the Texas harvest 47% done versus the 46% average, Oklahoma was 38 % vs the 57% average and Kansas was 3% versus the 8% average.
USDA forecasts Texas wheat production at 120 million bushels with an average yield of 32 bushels from 3.75 million acres versus 2014's 67.5 million bushels at 30 bushels per acre from 2.25 million acres.
Oklahoma's harvest is forecast at 114.8 million bushels from 4.1 million acres with an average yield of 28 bushels, versus 2014's 47.6 million bushels from 2.8 million acres with a 17 yield.
Kansas wheat production is pegged at 314.5 million bushels with an average yield of 37 bushels from 8.5 million acres. A year ago, it harvested 246.4 million with a yield of 28 bushels from 8.8 million acres.