The 2011 growing season for winter wheat in the Carolinas was considered ideal. The 2012 season has had its challenges, most based on a warm, dry winter. Chief of NCDA’s Agronomic Division Kent Messick says that harvest is winding down, at least in North Carolina:
“In general, wheat harvest is wrapping up across the state. Yields have been pretty good, though not as good as the 2011 harvest. But growers are satisfied and seeing about 40-60 bushels, versus last year’s 70-90 bushels.”
A late freeze in April, while not widespread, caused it’s share of headaches as well:
“It was surprising that much of the damage tended to be further south. The area along the NC/SC state line seemed to be one of the areas where we had the most damage, while the counties along the VA state line didn’t see as much damage. “
Messick explains that during a cool wet late May and early June, test weights suffered some:
“We had a rainy spell for about ten days when wheat harvest normally would have been going on, so there was some drop in test weights before the rainy period versus after. It may have gone from 60+ pounds down to the mid to upper 50 pounds. It won’t be our best year but we did as well as could be expected with the weather.”
Messick says that harvest should wrap up before independence day.