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Wheat harvest comes two weeks earlier than normal for Wauneta area producers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 14 June 2012 15:49

Derek Sandman puts the shields in place on his combine in preparation for wheat harvest. He and his dad, Kirk, planned to start their wheat harvest this Wednesday.

By Sheri Hink

The Wauneta Breeze


Area wheat producers are in the final stages of gearing up for this year’s wheat harvest. Some area producers planned to start as early as this Wednesday.

Derek Sandman said that he and his dad, Kirk, planned to start their wheat harvest on Wednesday this week–a full two weeks earlier than he normally would. He knew of others who planned to start in the same time frame.

Frenchman Valley Co-op in Wauneta is ready to take in up to 1.5 million bushels of wheat according to manager Shane Anderson. He credits their large capacity to the new big bin recently added. Although Anderson doesn’t expect to need all the space available, the space is there for those who need it.

As producers begin their harvest Anderson explained producers will often bring in a wheat sample to test for moisture and protein levels early in their harvest.

The Wauneta elevator had not seen any samples as of Tuesday afternoon but were expecting them any time.

According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office, the above normal temperatures and low precipitation has stressed dry land crops and lowered crop and pasture condition ratings statewide.

Last week, the USDA reported that wheat harvest has already begun in southeast Nebraska and is expected to move quickly across the southern tier of the state.

Statewide, temperatures have averaged four degrees above normal. Many areas in southwest Nebraska have seen triple digit highs. Wauneta saw its first triple digit high of 101 ° on Sunday, June 10.

Sandman said that the hot wind experienced recently is speeding things along for their wheat harvest plans. He is hopeful their crop’s test weight will be positive.

Sandman said the quality of the wheat harvested will be dependent on shriveling of the berries due to the hot winds.

Despite the recent hail storm, Sandman estimates a yield of 30 to 65 bushels per acre in the Wauneta area.

Although this crop has matured quickly, it was not without challenges from Mother Nature. The hail storm in the past few weeks did some damage to their crop.

The Sandmans’ insurance adjuster reported an estimated damage of 5 to fifteen percent from the hail.

Only time will tell what the results of this year’s harvest will be. With hope, this early harvest will also be a profitable one for area producers.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 June 2012 15:50