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Wheat crop better than anticipated PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

A fast and furious, very early wheat harvest is almost complete, according to area elevators Tuesday morning, June 26.

Overall quality and yields were better than most expected, according to both Steve Young, grain merchandiser at Grainland Co-op, and Steve Bahnsen, manager at Paoli Farmers Co-op.

“Going into harvest, I don’t think anyone thought it would be this good,” said Young. “We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the wheat.”

Young said Grainland averaged over 60 pounds per bushel on test weights, and Bahnsen said Paoli Co-op test weights averaged at 60.5 pounds.

Yields are averaging right around 40 bushels per acre, which is better than was anticipated due to the dry weather this spring and summer.

“I don’t know how this crop did what it did,” said Bahnsen, noting some of the fields received only 2.5 inches of rain since the first of the year. That’s half if not one-third of what is typically received in that six-month timeframe.

Volume is down 10-15 percent from the past couple of years, but “we’re lucky we got what we got,” said Bahnsen.

Young said yields north of Holyoke are a little over 40 bushels per acre, while south of town they’re a little under 40. A couple of showers at the right time made a difference north of town.

There was a lot of hot, dry wind when the wheat was headed out. However, agronomists indicate there was good subsoil moisture. The nice warm winter allowed roots to go deeper, so the wheat crop was able to pull up the moisture when it was really hot.

Young said Grainland is probably 95 percent finished with harvest as of Tuesday morning and will finish up this week.

Bahnsen anticipated everything but the irrigated wheat to be harvested yet this week, as well.

Young added it was a very fast harvest, and they’re thankful no one was hurt.

Holyoke Enterprise June 28, 2012