Wichita The winter wheat harvested by Kansas farmers has been “above average” in quality and quantity, easing early fears sparked by low protein in winter wheat cut in Texas and Oklahoma.
Wheat must be at least 12 percent protein to be good for bread, said Justin Gilpin, chief executive officer for the industry trade group Kansas Wheat. That’s also the preferred amount for wheat sold to customers such as Nigeria, Mexico and Japan.
Kansas wheat has been averaging about 12 percent protein, Gilpin said. In southern states like Texas and Oklahoma — where the nation’s winter wheat harvest begins — protein levels had been averaging about 11 percent, with a lot of 10 percent protein wheat, he said.
“The market is encouraged that Kansas came in with better than last year’s protein,” Gilpin said. “I know the market was on edge because the Texas and Oklahoma crop early on looked to be coming in at a low protein.”
Meanwhile, the wheat harvest in Kansas passed the halfway mark with the return of hot, dry and windy weather.
Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that 55 percent of the crop had been harvested, well ahead of the 52 percent average for this time of year.
With a favorable weather forecast for Kansas for the next four to five days, farmers should make a lot of progress winding the harvest down this week, Gilpin said.
The wheat left in the field was mostly in good or better shape, KASS reported, and 84 percent had reached maturity.
The yield, or amount harvested per acre, and quality of wheat cut so far promises an above average crop across most of the state, Gilpin said.