Wheat harvest delayed
Boise--While most of the north wheat harvest is in, farmers are struggling in the east to get the crop in because of rain.
Eastern farmers went from harvest mode to salvage mode to save the crop, they worked to dry out the crop but the storms continued.
“We got 6 inches of rain in the past three weeks, when has that ever happened? Not in my lifetime,” said farmer Bryan Searle of Shelly. “We harvested one field when the rains came, we started the next and it rained, then we held off a couple days to dry out. Then it rained again, then we waited and started cutting again and then it started raining, we still don’t have all the wheat in,” added Searle.
The Wheat Commission's Blaine Jacobsen says harvest is mixed at best.“We've had quite a range in our harvest this year. We’ve had rain in Southern Idaho the first three weeks in August and thats been the divide. Wheat harvested prior to the rain is some of the best quality we’ve produced, a falling number of 4-500 and a test weights of 62-64.
I would say that two-thirds of our winter wheat was harvested prior to the rain. The wheat still in the field when the rains came, needs to be looked at and we’re encouraging the growers to bin each of their fields separately because its almost a field by field situation. Summer storms would come through and hit one field and not the next one.
Wheat that remains standing, we think is still in pretty good shape. Some of the wheat was beaten down and we’re seeing more sprout damage in the fallen wheat than standing wheat. It's still too early to assess the 2014 harvest because so much eastern wheat is still in wet fields.