Wheat harvest should officially be in full swing this week


By The Telegram

By The Telegram

While the 2013 Kansas wheat harvest took a long time to get started, it didn't take long for it to reach northern Kansas, with activity reported as far north as Hays in northwest Kansas and Beloit in north-central Kansas, according to the Kansas Harvest Report. A thunderstorm Sunday morning in east-central Kansas kept many farmers in that region out of the harvest field Sunday.

The harvest report is provided by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and sponsors Kansas City Board of Trade and the Kansas Grain & Feed Association.

Kansas Wheat Commissioner Rich Randall found a field of summer-fallow wheat dry enough to harvest near Scott City on Saturday. Grain averaged 11 percent moisture; test weight is 58 pounds per bushel. The field averaged about 25 bushels per acre. Continuous wheat fields are expected to yield much less, Randall said. By Tuesday, he expects the area harvest to be in full swing.

Three days into the harvest in the Bazine area, harvest is about 20 percent complete, according to Brandy Feltman at the Co-op Grain and Supply there. With test weights averaging about 59 pounds per bushel and protein averaging about 13, farmers report the crop is performing a bit better than expected, although they don't have any yield data yet.

In Pawnee and Stafford counties, harvest is about 25 percent complete, according to Kim Barnes at the Pawnee County Co-op. Test weight and moisture at the cooperative's four locations in Larned, Garfield, Dartmouth and Macksville averages about 60 pounds per bushels and 12 percent moisture. No protein levels or yield estimates are available. Frost and drought hurt the crop, and some farmers are disappointed in yield.

Others are pleasantly surprised at the crop's ability to withstand the stress.

Harvest has reached the Beloit area in north-central Kansas, reports Alan Tillberg, manager of the Farmway Co-op elevator there. Farmers began cutting wheat south of town on Friday.

Early results are 11.5 moisture, 61-pound test weight average and yields ranging from 40 to 56 bushels per acre. Tillberg expects the harvest average to be about 40 bushels per acre. Some farmers report light freeze damage in isolated wheat fields in the area, and hail storms damaged the crop west and northeast of Beloit.

Jim Michael, KAWG director from McCune, says wheat harvest had progressed to northern Crawford County on Sunday.

Yields for both soft and hard winter wheat range from 50 to 70 bushels per acre, and test weights are right at the 60-pound-per-bushel benchmark. The crop quality is not expected to be as high this year as in past years, due to more late-season rains than normal, and the crop is slow to dry down. The area has more wheat this year than in the past several years, Michael said.

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