Kansas wheat harvest moved north last week before rain arrived on Sunday with yields of 30 to 40 bushels per acre common in many areas with test weights of 59 to 63 lbs per bushel, according to the latest weekly harvest report compiled by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association.
The previous week's report, which focused on south central Kansas, many yields ranged from 10 to 12 bushels.
In Sterling, northwest of Hutchinson in central Kansas, there were instances of yields in the single digits, but averaged 30 to 40 bushels, Lee Burgess at the Central Prairie Co-op said in the report. Test weights were 59 to 63 lbs.
Low yields had been expected as hard red winter wheat from Kansas to Texas was hurt by drought, an April freeze and harvest-time rain. Earlier this month, USDA estimated the Kansas harvest, typically the nation's largest, at 243.6 million bushels with an average yield of 29 bushels, compared with 319.2 million bushels and a 38-bushel yield a year ago.
A week ago, USDA said 2% of the Kansas wheat was harvested, well behind the 19% five-year average. USDA will update that progress later on Monday.
David Radenberg, a wheat farmer in the central Kansas town of Claflin, said in the report his first field averaged about two bushels an acre, due to winterkill. Other fields were better with yields of 30 to 40 bushels. Test weights averaged 62 pounds with moisture content of about 11%. Recent rain caused an increase in weeds.
In Lindsborg to the east, Shane Eck at the Mid-Kansas Co-op, expects the area's wheat production to be about half of last year's better-than-average harvest. He estimated 20% of the wheat was cut and around 140,000 bushels have been brought in. Farmers are now cutting the better wheat with yields averaging around 30 bushels and test weights just over 60 pounds.
In the southern part of Eck's territory, protein content ranged from 12 to 14 lbs.
In western Kansas, Mike Schmidt, of Skyland Grain in Johnson, said the harvest may exceed last year's, with farmers reporting better-than-expected yields. Locally, test weights averaged about 62-63 pounds and were more consistent than last year's crop. He estimated that area's harvest will be done in a week to a week-and-a-half.