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Serving: IN

Winter wheat harvest finally gathering steam

Winter wheat harvest finally gathering steam
Slow start gives way to winter wheat harvest line moving northward.

Winter wheat harvest is nearly over some years in southwest Indiana by June 22. Instead, it was just finally in full swing. The remnants of tropical storm Bill that brought rain to the area also slowed up wheat harvest.

Related: Wheat Harvest 2015: Dry weather, better yields found in Kansas

Not everyone was complaining. Mike Flock, Ramsey, says that his crops needed rain. They received four inches, but hadn't received much rain before that, certainly nothing like northern Indiana.

Late start: Wheat harvest began late on Tom and Kay Lang's farm near Mt. Vernon. (Photo courtesy of Kay Lang)

Kay Lang was so happy to see the combine running that she snapped this picture and sent it along. Taken 10 days ago, her husband, Tom, was running wheat – at last! Their daughter, Shelby, foreground, was waiting for a ride in the combine. With buddy seats offering a safe place to sit, it's a more acceptable practice today. Thanks to Kay for sending along the photo.

When this shot was taken, according to the Indiana Crop progress weekly report from Greg Matli, state statistician, wheat harvest was only 8% complete in the south, although 75% of the crop was mature. The 8% is well behind both 2014 and the five-year average for that date.

By this date, over half of the wheat should be combined statewide, based on the five-year average. Harvest in 2014, another year with cooler, wetter weather, although nothing like 2015 as to volume of water in some areas, also ran behind the five-year average for crop completion.

It's too early to tell how wheat harvesting date may affect number of double-crop acres planted. Look for it to be more of a factor in central and southern Indiana, where wheat harvest often pushes the possible double-crop opportunity into a riskier period anyway.

Related: USDA crop progress report 6/29: U.S. corn, soy ratings slip

Also as of when this picture was taken and three-fourths of the wheat was mature in the south, 40% was mature in central Indiana, and only 23% was mature in northern Indiana. Those percentages should be considerably higher now.

TAGS: Wheat
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