CHATTANOOGA, OK (KSWO) - Southwest Oklahoma wheat farmers continue harvesting this week and some even may be wrapping up the process. Little to no moisture really takes a toll on crop production, and combine that with hot temperatures, you're going to run in to some trouble. For wheat farmers this year, their yield isn't taking a hit when it comes to quality, but quantity.
"The quality is great, high test weights and moisture has been good," said Lester Denny, a Tillman County farmer. "The quantity is down, but that's due to the dry winter, and its been kind of a tough year."
Despite severe drought in the western part of Oklahoma, some grain elevators in southwest Oklahoma are reporting decent yields. The latest harvest report from the Oklahoma Wheat Commission shows high quality wheat coming out of the Grandfield, Frederick, and Snyder areas.
Denny is harvesting about 60% of what he originally planted in September and it didn't take long to get the job done. In fact, they finished Wednesday and reported better yields than what was expected.
"This year we had our granaries empty so we were able to store a lot of wheat on our farm," Denny said. "The rest of it goes to Co-Op and it market it as the market changes, hopefully it changes on the rise."
The decline in wheat production and uptick in harvest time can be attributed to a couple things: severe drought conditions across the state and an increase in cotton, sesame, and soybean plantings.
"We had about 40,000 acres that were designated for Tri-County Gin, there could be that many acres or more this year," said Denny. "Those acres typically comes out of wheat producing acres and people looking for something that will pay more. "
And while the farming community will work to thrive in any environment, there's always some apprehension.
"There have been years when you got a tremendous crop in the field but storm clouds raise and you get nervous," he said. "But the Lord will provide eventually."
Denny said now that the wheat is gone, they'll start weed control and plan to start planting again during the last week of September.