WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - Winter wheat is ready for harvest, but recent rainfall could delay the process.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent for Wichita County, David Graf said strong winds, hail, and even rainfall could be damaging to the wheat as farmers are preparing for harvest.
"Typically we want rainfall, but when we get ready for this to harvest," Graf said, "If we get rain now, it creates a couple of things. For one, the fields get wet and so you just can't get in the field."
Muddy fields do not mix well with combine harvesters.
"If we do stay wet or we get a lot of rainfall, then it starts deteriorating the quality of that seed and also what's called the test weight," Graf said.
The average bushel is about 60 pounds. We are at about 61 right now. More rain will make that number drop.
"You got really some good plump seeds here not any wrinkles," Graf said. "If we stay and we continue to get some rain it's almost like it dehydrates even though there's moisture in it."
Rainfall will also allow weeds to grow and impact how the wheat is harvested.
Another problem is severe weather.
"One of our biggest issues this time of year is hail damage and we've had some hail here in the county," Graf said.
Hail will completely lay the wheat down making it impossible to harvest.
Planting different varieties of wheat can make a difference
"They're looking for one that's hail-proof. They haven't found one of those yet," Graf said.
Strong winds have caused lodging in fields near Iowa Park.
"We've actually got a place here I can show you. Where this is really a good patch of wheat for this year but you can see where the wind came in and because it's got good seed heads. When you got some wind it actually laid it over," Graf said.
A lot of things are made with wheat like bread, oatmeal, cereal, and even tortillas.
Right now the price is very low for wheat because so many third world counties are becoming more successful with their crops.