Winter wheat harvest is ongoing across the country. Despite USDA saying 28 percent of the crop out of the top 18 producing states is out of the ground, winter wheat harvest is moving across the High Plains.
Cody Goodknight, a producer from Chattanooga, Ok., is spending a lot of hours in the cab, but he doesn’t seem to mind.
“Wheat harvest has always been the highlight of our year,” said Cody.
The producer is cutting wheat and managing a crew, working the land like his father did before him.
“I’m not in charge anymore, but I sure enjoy observing,” said Cody’s father, John Goodknight as he watched from his pick-up.
USDA says 47 percent of the Oklahoma winter wheat crop is rated good to excellent. The same goes for other key wheat producing states like Kansas where less than half of the crop is rated good to excellent.
“The wheat crop wasn’t excellent by any means,” said Cody. “It was just barely average.”
Cody said that earlier in the season. Cody says his early-maturing wheat is yielding significantly below average, while his later planted is above. Overall, he expects a below average winter wheat crop this year because of Mother Nature.
“We don’t know if this is the last rain we’re going to get. We don’t know if we are going to get another three inch rain tomorrow,” said Cody.
The crop went into dormancy early and the spring was very dry. The rains came too late. It brought thunderstorms and even hail damage around Memorial Day.
In an area where weather is anything but predictable the thrill and excitement of another harvest remains constant.
“I’ve farmed for many years and loved it intensely," said John. "It’s a very big bode of confidence my son likes farming just as much as I did."
“Our passion has always been wheat harvest," said Cody. "We love it. We look forward to it all year long. This year isn’t an excellent crop, but we’re excited to get in the field and get to going."
Goodknight says his wheat acres are down quite a bit this year. He planted more cotton and sorghum because prices are better.