|The 2011 HRW wheat harvest began in the coastal regions of Texas three weeks ago, reached the Blacklands/Hill Country south of Dallas early last week, and moved already to the Texas/Oklahoma border this week, before rain shut the combines down. This harvest is about two weeks ahead of normal for southern Oklahoma, which is an indicator of how devastating the drought has been. South Texas has been reporting good test weights and very good protein on the wheat that has been harvested. However, triple digit temperatures, low humidity and high winds last weekend over a wide area of the Southern Plains significantly affected an already dismal crop. The Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma, and areas of southwest Kansas experienced these same conditions with a crop that ranges in maturity from the final stages of grainfill in Oklahoma to just pollinating in Kansas. These crop development stages are the most vulnerable time for the weather to be putting high moisture demands on plants with limited root development due to drought. Many of these same areas were hit in early April with a late freeze.|
Based on USDA's May yield estimate for Texas (numbers compiled before the high moisture demands of last weekend), a large area of western Texas which harvested just over 103 million bushels last year will only harvest an estimated 23 million bushels this year.