Kansas Wheat Harvest 2010 Has Officially Begun

Combines are rolling in Barber, Harper Counties; harvest is looking average to slightly below

The best guess about 10 a.m. today was that wheat harvest would be picking up speed by mid-afternoon.

So I packed up the grandkids and we headed southwest about noon to see what we could find.

And sure enough, by 3 p.m. we found combines in the fields.

LESSON LEARNED: The first lesson for grandkids traveling with grandma is that we don’t just brake for historical markers. We stop and read them. Quiz later.

We caught up to Brett Courson, a hired hand for Clay Spicer at Diamond Age Farms just north of Kiowa as he neared unloading time and waited for him to pull up to the semi.

Courson said he has about 2,500 acres to cut and started about 4 p.m. on Saturday and hit it hard on Sunday.

ON THE RUN: An invitation to "climb aboard" means full speed ahead for Alyssa, who experienced her first ride on a combine Sunday.

Temperatures were in the 90s with light winds and plenty of sunshine so drydown has been fast.

Workers at the OK Coop in Kiowa said loads were coming in at around 11 percent moisture and farmers were expecting an average to slightly below average harvest, thanks to a long period of dry weather over the winter but a very cooperative filling season in May.

SHE DID IT: Chloe's first ride on a combine was a successful experience on Sunday. She says she's ready to go again any time.

The kids were chomping at the bit for a ride and Brett was more than happy to have them climb aboard for a turn around the field.

Jackson, who will soon be 3, chanted "ride the big tractor, big tractor," all the way to the top of the ladder and into the cab before looking down and immediately beginning to wail in terror.

Chloe and Alyssa at 9 and 7 loved their chance to sit in the cab of the big John Deere combine and watch the header grab the wheat. When I told them wheat harvest will last until the end of the month and maybe into July depending on the weather, their eyes got wide.

HE LOVED IT: Brett Courson, who works for Diamond Age Farms, was in his first full day of harvest on Sunday. He has about 2,500 acres of wheat to cut and said he was delighted to the be guy who got to give two little girls their first ride on a combine.

"School's out. Can we go EVERY day?" Alyssa asked.

Ah, the enthusiasm of youth.


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