Results from the 2014 Fulton County wheat harvest were “all over the board,” Eric Richer, Fulton County agricultural extension agent, said Monday.
After one of the worst winters on record, wheat yields were generally down five to 10 bushels per acre.
An average wheat harvest is 70 to 75 bushels per acre.
This year, Richer said most farmers reported yields from 65 to 70 bushels per acre.
“I had a few reports, one actually, of 100 bushels, and I had a few reports of 50 bushels, but 65 to 70 caught most of them,” he said.
The lower yields were not as good as 2013, “which was as predicted,” he said.
But wheat showed improvement from the scouting reports of April and early May.
Wheat quality was good, but test weights were down. Wheat taken off early in the harvest season had better test weights than wheat harvested later.
With the hard winter, Richer said wheat planted later in the fall fared worse than that planted earlier.
There were other factors, but he said the hard winter was “the biggest culprit” impacting the wheat crop.
Prices paid by elevators for wheat have fallen by more than $1 per bushel over the last month or two.
Cash price for wheat at two area elevators on Monday, July 28, was about $5.30 per bushel.
“There were opportunities to contract wheat at a profitable level. Prices now are below profit,” Richer said.
“The biggest discussion on corn and beans right now is the weather,” he said. “It’s coming down to a weather issue.
“Most of the county needs rain. Fortunately, corn has pollinated well. Now we need rain to fill the kernels.
“The beans will pollinate in August. Any precipitation we get will be beneficial to the corn and the beans.
“Already, in parts of the county, the corn leaves are curled and the beans look stressed in the middle of the day.
“We really need rain.”
After the rain, the corn needs heat.
Temperatures have been mild this summer, and warmer temperatures are needed for optimum growth.
Richer said the price of corn has fallen, the same as wheat.
Prices depend on whether corn is sold at the elevator at the cash price offered the day of sale, or contracted for later delivery.
Area elevators offered a cash price of around $3.45 per bushel on Monday.
The price of soybeans has dropped as well, by as much as $1.50 to $2 per bushel.
The cash price on Monday ranged from $13.03 to $13.14 per bushel.
This year’s harvest will be later than normal, Richer predicted.
What’s needed now are rain and warmer temperatures.
“Both at the same time would be a gift from God,” he said.–David Pugh