Oklahoma producers are expected to harvest 105.3 million bushels of wheat this year, according to a survey by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The estimate is based by two surveys done by the USDA’s Southern Plains Regional Office.

“The farm operator survey was conducted primarily by telephone with some use of mail and internet,” according to NASS. “The objective yield survey collects actual stalk counts and head weights from plots set up in producer fields across the states of Oklahoma and Texas.”

This year’s production is a 1% increase from the 104 million bushels harvested in 2020. The forecast, though, is down 2.7 million bushels from the forecast in May, according to NASS.

Yield is forecast to be 39 bushels an acre, down one bushel from last year, according to NASS.

Oklahoma Wheat Commission said in its harvest report released Wednesday that harvest is underway in southern parts of the state, although rain has hampered the effort.

“Some places around the Frederick region have been slowed due to heavier rains ...,” the report states. “A large portion of Tillman County received half to 3½ inches of rain late Sunday evening and early Monday morning.”

Yields in Southwest Oklahoma have been favorable, according to the report, ranging from the mid-30s to the mid-60s. Test weights have been favorable as well, according to the report, with some parts of Kiowa, Washita and Caddo counties seeing weights of 65.5 pounds per bushel. Wheat must register at least 60 pounds per bushel to command the best price.

“Producers have been test cutting east of Okarche and south of Kingfisher where harvest usually leap frogs over Grady and Canadian counties, but ... moisture ranges on test cuttings have been reported at 15.5% to 17.4% in the Kingfisher/Canadian county region,” according to the report.

Producers were hoping warmer, drier weather would lower moisture ranges and allow them to get into fields soon, according to the report.

Area producer and Enterprise Grain President Brady Sidwell said some samples were taken today, with more to come Friday. He expects “things getting started this weekend.”

Harvest in Oklahoma usually starts in the south and works its way up toward the Kansas line.

Wheat harvest in the state has been up and down for the past 10 years, ranging from a high of 154.8 million bushels in 2012, to a low of 47.6 million bushels in 2014, when it was severely impacted by drought, then too much rain at harvest time.

Yields, too, have varied, from a high of 40 bushels an acre in 2019 and 2020, to a low of 17 bushels an acre in 2014.

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Kevin Hassler is associate editor of the Enid News & Eagle.

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