04 Aug Janel: Excellent winter wheat but tough straw
South Dakota—We got here July 20 and the winter wheat had green in it yet so we waited a couple of days to let it ripen. When we did sample it was 12.4%. So we’ve been staying busy cutting excellent winter wheat north of Pierre, South Dakota. It’s yielding in the 80s and is a heavy crop weighing 65 pounds per bushel. The protein is above 14%.
The wheat is standing good but the straw has been green and tough and that takes horsepower and fuel to get through it. We just replaced all of the sickle sections on two headers when we got here. We cut a lot of wheat very close to the ground in Oklahoma and Nebraska and the sickle sections were getting dull and worn out. Now we are in tough green straw and the new sickle sections are working very well. Fungicide applications make the cutting conditions even tougher. Listening and responding is a combine operator’s constant responsibility in tough cutting conditions with higher yields.
The heat and somewhat breezy conditions are bringing on the spring wheat. Hopefully we’ll have spring wheat ready once we finish the winter wheat. The forecast is hot and dry and the drought continues.
We have two combines here and six out in Montana. South Dakota is loaded with corn this year. There’s also quite a lot of soybeans and sunflowers planted as well. There’s fewer acres of wheat every year it seems. I love cutting wheat in South Dakota and am happy to be here and cutting a good wheat crop. I’m just disappointed with how things have changed. South Dakota used to be full of wheat and sunflowers. Now it’s mostly corn and soybeans.
Janel can be reached at email@example.com.
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