Wheat harvest is quickly coming to an end in southwest Nebraska as combines, such as this one operated by Dave Brown, cut a swath across Chase County.

Fewer acres, lower yields story of 2018 wheat harvest

Combines continue to roll across southwest Nebraska this week as wheat harvest moves forward.
    Production is down compared to 2017, according to Garrett Paisley with Frenchman Valley Coop (FVC).
    “Overall we’re seeing fewer acres and lower yields,” Paisley said. But on a positive note, Paisley said, from Palisade to Imperial, protein levels are up from 2017 to around 11-14. Farmers receive a premium for protein over 11.
    When reviewing production numbers from FVC’s area elevations, Paisley said Benkelman is on the downhill slide of harvest, while Imperial still has 40-50  percent standing.
    While the most of the dry land wheat has been dry, most fields are making 20-80 bushels per acre. Irrigated acres are making 80-100 bushels per acre, but are still a little wet at 13-14, Paisley said. Overall, he said the top end yields just aren’t where they have been in the past.
    Paisley went on to add, there’s been differences in the weather around FVC’s elevators, but it’s often the humidity in the mornings slowing farmers down.
    Dave Spahn with Gavilon in Benkelman estimated harvest in that area would be over by the end of the week. He said Gavilon’s main draw is a 40-mile radius around Benkelman and harvest usually runs ahead of Wauneta and Imperial.

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