RUNNELS COUNTY – Wheat producers have been racing to get the wheat harvested for the past two weeks, and now the 2018 crop is almost completely cut.

RUNNELS COUNTY – Wheat producers have been racing to get the wheat harvested for the past two weeks, and now the 2018 crop is almost completely cut.

Last week, Runnels County producer Paul Minzenmayer had crews out in Talpa cutting wheat while he was around Hatchel planting cotton.

With spotty rain this year, most producers like Minzenmayer were not too hopeful that they would have a decent crop.

“It was a nice surprise,” Mizenmayer said. “We did not think we were going to have this crop. It’s not a bumper crop, but it is a lot better than what we expected. Plus, the price is up a little. “

According to the Daniel Lange, executive director of the Runnels County Farm Bureau, there was 87,837 acres planted in 2017 for the 2018 harvest. In 2016 91,800 acres were planted for the 2017 harvest and in 2015, 119,500 acres were planted for the 2016 harvest. That is down from 142,500 acres planted in 2015.

“The quantity has varied this year from 10 to 40 bushels an acre,,” Lange said.

Meanwhile, Donnie Schwertner, owner of Top-Tier Grain & Feed was busy filling rail cars last week. He expects to be finished this week. Top Tier, formerly known as Kasberg Grain, is located and Miles and employees have been working hard to get the wheat processed and moving in the rail cars.

“The quality has been better than it has been years in the fields around Miles,” Schwertner said. “The yield was above expectations.”

“We still have wheat on the ground in the northern parts of Runnels County, but for the most part they are done,” Book said.

Currently, wheat is going for just under between $4.80 and $5.50 a bushel Schwertner said.

Meanwhile, the ever-present dilemma continues, with producers racing to harvest wheat, so they can plant cotton.

Producers have been waiting on rain, before planting the cotton, but as usual, do not want rain to delay the wheat harvest. Last week, some wheat harvesting had to be put on hold due to intermittent rains, but it has resumed full speed ahead this week.

According to information from the Texas Wheat Producers Board and Association, the harvest was over 50 percent completed with good test weight. Some producers estimated that harvest would be extended. Overall, Texas was reported to be 39 percent completed with harvest. According to Dave DuBois, state climatologist for New Mexico, abandonment of Texas winter wheat acres has risen from 55 percent/2.5 million acres last year to 66 percent/3.1 million acres due to drought and heat damage.