Timely rains bolster harvest
by Tim Linscott
Timing is everything.
In regard to this year’s wheat harvest timely rains in June helped turn a potential bust of a year into a boom.
Gary Talich, branch manager for Frenchman Valley Coop in Grant and Venango, said the harvest has been going strong and not only are test weights high, the quality is excellent.
“We are having what I am calling a super crop,” Talich said. “We haven’t seen anything close to this since 2008. Yields are out of this world.”
Dryland is producing 100-plus bushel yields, which Talich said is ‘unheard of.’
There is an abundance of wheat with excellent quality. Talich said the average test weight is 63.6 pounds with a high of 66 pounds coming into FVC.
Proteins are over 12 percent.
Brian Freeman of Scoular Company of Venango noted that this year test weights and yields have been phenomenal.
“This is a record breaking year for yields,” he said. “You’d have to go back quite a few years, but I don’t think anyone has seen dryland wheat do this good.”
Test weights at Scoular have been between 62-67 pounds per bushel and the yields have been between 40-100 bushels per acre with the average between 65-70 bushels per acre.
Moisture levels have been at 13.5 percent.
The month of May showed some foreboding outlooks for harvest.
“May was close to not having a wheat crop worth anything, but timely rains in June helped tremendously,” Talich said.
Untimely rains predicted for the upcoming weeks could mean a slight dip in quality but should not mean a large deterrent on yields, according to Talich.
On July 10-11 Talich reported the Grant elevator was running at nearly capacity, with close to 300 trucks per day dumping loads.
Freeman agreed the timely rains have helped this year’s crop and, compared to last year, the Scoular facilities have been steadily busy.
“The rains in June absolutely helped this year,” Freeman said.
Prices have been dipping a bit, Talich noted, as the world market for wheat at the moment ‘is not good.’ However, Talich explained the added bushels should help make up for lack of market dollars.