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Wheat Farmer Reports High Yields

by Terence L. Day
Capital Press, August 11, 2011

Prices, yield and quality please Washington growers

(Terence L. Day) Two Gleaner combines make their way through a hillside field on the Arnold Van Hollebeke farm 22 miles northeast of Pasco near the Star School on the Pasco-Kahlotus Highway on Aug. 2. PASCO, Wash. -- Early indications are that this year's wheat harvest will be considerably above average on the Jerry Van Hollebeke farm south of here.

As two combines were working their way through 1,740 acres of club wheat Aug. 2, Van Hollebeke described yields of Bruehl, a soft white club, as "real good."

Van Hollebeke used bankout wagons to transport grain from two 9-year-old Gleaner combines to semitrucks waiting on the Pasco-Kahlotus Highway about 22 miles north of Pasco. The semis do double duty hauling grain and cattle. The Van Hollebekes also have a fall calving operation with crossbred Hereford Angus cattle.

Glen Squires, vice president of the Washington Grain Commission, estimated that less than 25 percent of the state's harvest is completed, about 12 days behind what is typical for this time of year due to the wet, cold spring weather.

Yields are expected to be up all over.

"I haven't heard from anybody with lower yields," Squires said.

White wheat proteins are just under 10 percent, which is where it's wanted, Squires said, with prices just under $7 per bushel. That's down a little from the last month, Squires said, but still pretty good.

"Prices are relatively strong, yields are up and the quality is actually quite good," Squires said. "That's three out of three."

As harvest progresses, Squires said one concern might be some farmers having to juggle the logistics of harvesting and seeding at the same time.

Terence L. Day
Capital Press reporter Matthew Weaver contributed to this report.
Wheat Farmer Reports High Yields
Capital Press, August 11, 2011

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