Winding down

Combine operator Tom Stirewalt harvests the wheat field of Larry Holman, north of Chanute, on Tuesday.  “On my field the moisture was dry, test weight was above normal and yield was in the mid-30 bushel per acre,” Holman said. “The extended wet spring we had really cut into this year’s yields.”


Neosho County’s wheat harvest is nearly complete, although yields are not expected to be great.

Steve Coover with Kansas State Research and Extension said harvests in the southeast corner of Kansas are 85 to 90 percent complete, and although some fields are still standing, they should be finished in three to four days. He said most were done before last Friday’s rain.

Yields were not as good as expected, with some fields as low as the upper 20s to 30 bushels per acre. Cover said the SEK area is lower on average due to wet conditions.

“Wheat does not like wet feet,” Coover said, adding that temperatures also did not work out.

He said weights are pretty good and wheat berries filled out adequately, and the major issue is just low yields.

Although wheat is a fairly big crop producer in Neosho County, Coover said wheat acreages have been decreasing, with farmers planting fewer acres this year than they ever have.

“The commodity prices just aren’t there,” Coover said, and many growers are more focused on soybeans and corn, but the area does not yet have another winter annual. He said there would always be a place for wheat in southeast Kansas.

On day 8 of the Kansas Wheat Commission harvest reports: 

Laryce Schweiterman, who farms and raises seed wheat near Syracuse in Hamilton County, reports that they tried to start harvest on June 19, but moisture was too high, so they didn’t start again until June 22. So far, yields have been surprisingly good, averaging 40-50 bushels per acre, especially considering they have only received about 3” of rain during the growing season. They only planted about half of their normal wheat acres last year because they had a lot of moisture and could grow corn. Since then, moisture has been elusive, so they are planning to plant a lot more acres of wheat this fall.

The PlainsGold varieties Whistler and Langin and Kansas Wheat Alliance varieties Joe and Dallas have been performing well for them. They grow both hard red winter and hard white wheat.

Test weights have averaged 58-60 pounds per bushel and protein is averaging 11-12 percent. She estimates that harvest will be complete in the next 5-6 days.

Rusty Morehead from Progressive Ag in Wellington in Sumner County, reports that harvest started back up again on Tuesday, after they received from 1 to 5” of rain across their region over the weekend. He said test weight has dropped a little, but it’s still above 60 pounds per bushel. He estimates that harvest will be nearly complete before the next forecasted rain this weekend.

Troy Presley from CoMark Equity Alliance LLC in Cheney in Sedgwick County, reports they their area started harvesting again Tuesday, after 1.25-2.5” of rain over the weekend. He said they are about 80 perrcent complete. Test weights went down about 1 point, but remain above 60 pounds per bushel.


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