- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - More than half of South Dakota’s winter wheat crop is already in the bin, and the crop is piling up at some grain elevators.

The weekly crop report from the federal Agriculture Department estimates that 53 percent of the state’s winter wheat crop was harvested as of Sunday, well ahead of 17 percent at the same time last year and the average over the last five years of 22 percent.

The pace of the harvest is unusual, but a mild winter and spring made it an early year, Harrold Terminal Manager Kevin Kjorsvik told the Capital Journal (https://bit.ly/2a8vOy7 ). His elevator already has 650,000 bushels of winter wheat on the ground.

Harrold-area farmer Harlan Smith is pleased with his crop.

“The winter wheat is running really good, 70 to 95 bushels an acre,” he said. However, due to a large crop in the Plains this year, “the price is really bad,” he said.

Winter wheat is seeded and emerges in the fall, goes dormant over winter, begins growing again in the spring and is harvested in the summer.

It typically matures before the wheat crop that is planted in the spring, but Smith said he already has started combining his spring wheat crop, as well. The quality is good but his yields are only about half that of his winter wheat crop.

“That heat in June really set (the crop) back,” Kjorsvik said.

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Information from: Pierre Capital Journal, https://www.capjournal.com

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