Kansas Wheat Harvest Surpasses Expectations: Early Results Show Promising Yields and Recovery in Exports

By Trish Svoboda

As of Monday, the High Plains Journal reported that the Kansas wheat harvest is 5% complete, which is ahead of the average, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service crop progress report for the week ending June 9. The conditions for winter wheat were rated at 33% very poor to poor, 35% fair and 32% good to excellent.

Chris Fryer, a grain merchandiser at CoMark Equity Alliance, LLC, reported that protein levels fluctuate from one field to another, with a range of 9.5% to 14.5%. The moisture content is low, and the test weights significantly exceed 60 pounds per bushel, with several loads surpassing 62 pounds per bushel. Fryer anticipates that the overall harvest will slightly exceed the five-year average.

“Given the better-than-expected yields, the mood is generally upbeat,” Fryer remarked.

This year, the acreage remained steady, and both prices and yields have increased. Fryer pointed out that most of the early-harvested wheat is being directly transported to the elevator bin to occupy the space left vacant by previous underwhelming harvests. He also noted that wheat is being sold to meet the inelastic demand of mills, and exports are gradually recovering following last year’s significant decline due to the robust U.S. dollar and limited supplies.

The harvest has been diverse. Full-season wheat has benefited from favorable weather conditions during the filling stage, resulting in abundant grain in the heads and heavy test weights between 63 and 65 pounds per bushel. However, fields that were double-cropped following soybeans have been adversely affected by dry weather, leading to disappointing results. Despite this, Fryer expects the farm’s final yield to be significantly better than the previous year.

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