Three Generations of Pucketts Harvesting Wheat Together

Three Generations of Pucketts Harvesting Wheat Together

Granddad, dad and sons all in the field in western Kansas; yields hurt by drought, freeze.

Three generations of the Puckett family were in the wheat

field in western Kansas this week.

"My two sons are in the combines," Mike Puckett said. "I can't wrestle that job away from them."

On Monday, he was waiting for the truck to be loaded and spending some time chatting with his Dad, Rex, and keeping an eye on the progress of the combines.

"We're getting lousy yields, 10 to 15 bushels," he said. "It is not a good year. But test weights are pretty strong and prices are still good, relatively speaking. So it's worth harvesting."

Kansas Wheat, which issues daily harvest reports, says that yields are still coming in strong in the central part of the state.

SMALL HARVEST: Thin stands and short wheat are the norm in western Kansas where drought and freeze have cut yields significantly.

At Moundridge, harvest is about 80% done in the Team Marketing Alliance trade area and it has been one of the best crops ever. Yields in some fields have been as high as 100 bushels per acre across the company's 49 locations in central Kansas, they have averaged 60 bushels. Test weights are averaging 60 pounds with protein at 11, according to the Kansas Wheat report.

The Salina area has also seen some of its best wheat ever. Yields are in the 60 to 70-bushel range with harvest about three-quarters done. Test weights are averaging 62 pounds and protein about 10.5.

Harvest has also been above average in the Sterling area, where yields are ranging from 40 to 60 bushels. Rain last week caused test weights to drop slightly from 61 pounds to 59. The harvest is about 90% complete in that area.

SPARSE RESIDUE: In a region where wind erosion is a constant worry, this year's sparse wheat crop means little residue left on the ground to protect it from blowing.

In north central Kansas, the Midway Co-op in Osborne said harvest will likely wrap up by the end of the week but yields have been averaging only 15 to 30 bushels per acre. Midway has 12 locations and all of them were hurt by drought, which was made worse in some areas by hail storms.

In Pratt County, harvest is almost done and yields have come in better than expected with an average of 40 bushels per acre. Protein is averaging 12%.

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