Hot, windy conditions over the July 4th weekend got wheat harvest rolling in earnest again across Kansas.
Cutting is now in progress across all 105 counties in Kansas and harvest is complete in most of the southern tier of counties with exceptions in some areas where heavy rains brought enough mud to keep combines out of the fields.
Thunderstorms were an issue again across a wide swath of the state on Monday night after two days of 100-degree temperatures and brisk winds. Temperatures on Tuesday were forecast to drop to a high of 90 after a cold front moved across the state.
Storms developed in the west and northwest Monday night and spread slowly across the state, bringing sometimes heavy rain and damaging hail.
According to the Monday Agricultural Statistics report, more than 70% of the state's wheat was harvested, up from 40% the week before. In an average year, the Kansas harvest is complete by the July 4th weekend.
According to the Kansas Wheat harvest reports, Gary Gants, manager of D.E. Bondurant Grain Co. of Ness City, said that things are mostly winding up in his neck of the woods, but he could potentially have some farmers still bringing in wheat for more than a week.
He reported that they took in their first load on June 18, but they are just coming off of a week-long stalemate due to rain. He estimates that the area received 7-8 inches during the month of June while they had received less than 2 inches from January to May.
Yields have been highly varied. Some farmers have been totally zeroed out by adjusters while others have averaged about 45 bushels an acre. Test weights have fallen due to the rain to the current average of 58 pounds per bushel. Protein content is coming in at a little more than usual, about 12.5%, and he estimates that the final harvest total will be about 65% of an average crop for the area.
Stan Stark, a representative of Farmers Coop Co. in Haviland, reported that they had received 1.1 million bushels company-wide across their five locations. Normally at this point, he estimated that the company would have more than 1.7 million bushels.
Yields have ranged anywhere from 5-30 bushels per acre. He has seen much higher than usual protein content, and test weights have dropped due to rain to the current range of 57-58 pounds per bushel. The location has seen some insect damaged kernels come through, but overall dockage has decreased has harvest has progressed. Stark estimates that the Haviland area will be completely harvested by the end of the week.
Beloit farmer Michael Jordan took in his final load of wheat last night. He had yields ranging from the low teens to the upper 40s and test weights ranging from 58-62.5 pounds. His wheat had a higher than normal protein content. Jordan saw some insect damaged kernels, as well as high weed pressure. He reported that most farmers in his area are finishing up and predicts that most will be done by the end of the week. For Jordan, this was a dismal year for the quantity of his wheat with his totals coming in at less than half of a normal crop.