This year is exceptional because the wheat matured early in May. Harvesters are already in the area cutting wheat crops and it looks as if producers could have a crop slightly above average.
The mild winter this past year contributed to the wheat crop maturing earlier than usual, which it is commonly ready for harvest in June most years.
Chase Cassidy, office manager of Cassidy Grain Company, shared a few thoughts about the possibility of a good wheat yield this year. He said “We’ve started to get wheat in, and the yields are there. The potential is there for a good crop. We think some of the wheat coming in will produce good yields, but some are looking to be below average. Most likely there will be a combination of good wheat and bad wheat this year. The dockage doesn’t seem to be as bad as normally, although the acreage isn’t there. I expect it will be an above average crop.”
Usually Tillman County averages thirty bushels per acre. Cassidy estimates that Tillman County will exceed its average. “The bushels will be there and the quality is up there as far as protein levels. The test weight is also there, but it’s still early,” he shared.
Tillman Producers Cooperative is positively optimistic about this year’s crop. Jim Franklin, Tillman Producers Cooperative General Manager, said “So far the wheat looks good in the field. We are looking at possibly having a really good harvest. For the most part, wheat has been coming in at fifty-nine to sixty-five pounds. The moisture has been pretty good for the most part, probably in the twelves. Yields have been across the board from thirty to sixty bushels per acre. So, I expect to see a lot of wheat cut averaging somewhere between forty-five to fifty bushels per acre.”
Franklin also discussed the relationship between the commodities market and spring harvest. He shared “I think typically markets go down during harvest because all of that wheat is coming in. The world carryout on wheat is down, so I’m not sure if it will keep the market down or just during the harvest. I expect that it will stay down during harvest and then come back to some degree after the harvest season is over.”
It is estimated by Franklin this year there will be a wheat crop harvested twenty-five percent above average overall in Tillman County.
Wheat plays a vital role in the commodities market. An estimated ninety percent of the wheat harvested in this area goes to flour mills that make food products including bread and tortillas.