KANSAS CITY — Hot, dry weather across Kansas aided rapid harvest progress over Father’s Day weekend, amid continued widely varying yields, high protein levels, good test weights and minimal disease, Kansas Wheat said in its Day 5 Kansas Wheat Harvest Report issued June 17.
“Harvest continued to progress quickly through Kansas with sizzling hot temperatures and dry winds blowing through the fields,” Kansas Wheat said.
McPherson county farmer Derek Sawyer indicated he was about 85% completed with harvest over the weekend after cutting the first load on June 11. Combines were delayed briefly by rain and damp morning conditions. He said yields ranged from the upper-30 to mid-40 bus per acre but noted indications of yields ranging from 6 to 60 bus per acre in the community. He said he expected protein levels well above average.
“Yields have been all over the board,” Mr. Sawyer said. “Those differences in yield rely heavily on spotty rains and farming practices. But I have been pleasantly surprised with our yields. I was expecting much worse. We have huge piles of wheat from last year that I expect will be blended off pretty easily.”
Sedgwick county farmer Todd Pauley said his harvest lasted a little less than a week with yields ranging from 30 to 40 bus per acre. Test weights averaged 60 lbs per bu in the area, and disease was minimal.
“We definitely got less rain than normal this year,” Mr. Pauley said. “But we were fortunate that we had enough to keep us going. Harvest went really fast this year. We had no rain while we were cutting, so we were able to get it out of the field really quickly. I’m just glad to be done.”
Wilson county farmer Nicole Small said her family was about 50% completed with harvest after an unexpected wind storm took its toll on property, crops and time in the combine.
“We had a huge wind storm that knocked us out for about four days of cutting,” Ms. Small said. “We heard neighbors say anything from 70 to 100 mph in-line winds.” The storm toppled a grain bin, leveled decades-old trees and shredded some wheat stems, she said.
Ms. Small said yields ranged from 35 to 65 bus per acre with an average in the upper 40s. Rainfall was about 4 inches below normal this season.
“It’s turned out to be a better harvest than I expected,” Ms. Small said. “The wheat is really short, so I wasn’t expected hardly anything to be in the heads, but it’s been surprising.”
Plains Grains, Inc. in its June 15 update estimated the Kansas wheat harvest was about 19% completed before the weekend compared with 2% harvested as of June 10 reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its weekly Crop Progress report issued June 11. The U.S.D.A. will update harvest progress on June 18.
The Kansas harvest may be followed on Twitter by searching #wheatharvest18.