Local wheat crop one of best

Southwest Grain’s elevator in Hettinger is more than two-thirds full of spring wheat, with protein running 13.6 average and yields of 40 plus, said manager Suzie Reuther.Posted September 6, 2013



Record Editor



Southwest Grain’s elevator in Hettinger is more than two-thirds full of spring wheat, with protein running 13.6 average and yields of 40 plus, said manager Suzie Reuther.

“The protein is lower this year but the yields are higher,” she said. “The wheat had plenty of rain and no stress. It is one of the better crops around this area in the last five years.”

Up north, there had been a lot of ergot found and vomitoxin in the spring wheat, but Reuther said only a little ergot has been found in the Hettinger are, not enough to be worried about.

They began taking harvest wheat around the week of Aug. 18.

“We started out slow, but it has turned into a normal harvest,” said Reuther. “Travis, Jeff and Josh have been doing a wonderful job, and have been putting in a lot of extra hours to keep the truck line moving as fast as they can.”

She said most farmers should be wrapping up in about a week.

“We hold roughly 400,000 bushels, and once we are full, all our wheat is loaded on semi trucks and hauled to the Southwest Grain terminal in Lemmon,” she said. “Once we fill up, the lines show up in Lemmon and then they start running transfer trucks.”

This is the first year there has been any competition, with the new shuttle elevator opening near Bucyrus, but Reuther isn’t worried. “It’s something new and a little competition never hurt anyone,” she said.

Reuther has been location manager for a year, and said nothing has really changed from how it had been before she took over the reins.

“When you have good help it makes a manager’s job really easy,” she said.

They are taking wheat from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Down the road a ways, harvest activity began about a week ago at United Grain near Bucyrus, said manager Leif Anderson. “We except it to taper off in the next eight to 10 days,” he said.

The new elevator, which went online about a month ago, has the capacity for 1 million bushel storage, and will run 110-car shuttle trains out of the facility.

“The elevator has been running very well overall,” said Anderson. “We have had the maintenance and adjustments a new facility is expected to have, but have been well supported by our general contractor, Younglove Construction, through this startup period.”

He also credits an excellent staff working the elevator, assisting producers and keeping everyone moving through and returning to the field.

Mainly taking in spring wheat with a little winter wheat, Anderson said the overall yields sound excellent for producers.
“We’ve had proteins ranging from 11 to 16 percent,” he said. “We have had some producers telling us this may be their best crop ever.”

Compared to last year’s drought conditions, the moisture going into fall helped, but can easily return “If we don’t receive moisture through the fall and winter,” he said.

Anderson said they plan to clear out space over the net month to make room for corn.

“This has been an excellent year out of the gate.  We have already shipped two trains with enough to ship two more in house yet in September,” he said.  “We are very happy with the response by area producers and certainly appreciate their business.”

Normal harvest hours are 8 am. To 8 p.m. seven days a week. Anderson said as harvest slows down the elevator will return to normal hours of 8 am. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.