SD winter wheat harvest underway, spring wheat near disaster

BROOKINGS, S.D.(WNAX)- Wheat production will be down substantially in South Dakota this year. The winter wheat harvest has already started with USDA pegging progress at 33% done on Sunday.   SDSU Extension Agronomist Jonathan Kleinjan says the early yield reports have been quite variable.

The big surprise for Kleinjan comes in the quality and high protein content of the winter wheat.

Spring wheat harvest will begin in the next week or so and Kleinjan says drought and heat took its toll which will substantially cut production.  He expects yields in the central part of the state, where they normally get 60-bushel wheat, to be closer to 20 bushels and a near disaster.

He’s not sure what percentage of spring wheat acres will be totally abandoned or cut for hay, but he expects a big drop in harvested acreage.