The cogs for the Kansas wheat harvest are slowly starting to turn as farmers gear up for cutting season. Full scale harvest has not yet taken over the Wheat State, but little pockets of activity are starting to emerge. Some have spotted a lone field near Galva already harvested; others have seen the headers turning in remote south eastern Kansas acres.
Dan Cashier, general manager at the Anthony Farmers Coop branch in Anthony, reports that all AFC locations are open. Test weights are holding at 61-63 pounds per bushel. Cashier is thankful that so far farmers are seeing around a 45-50 bushel per acre yield. This is a far cry from the drought-stricken last two or three years where Anthony farmers would see anywhere from 5-20 bushels per acre. "Our five year average is definitely skewed," said Cashier. "We've had some rough years recently, but this year's crop is shaping up to be above average." Warm winds over the last few days have started to dry out fields near Anthony, so the plants that aren't ready to harvest yet will be drying out soon. So far he has noted a 12-13% moisture range. Cashier also pointed out that custom cutters haven't made their way into the area just yet. "We might be better off this way, so that way we can work up to full steam ahead instead of starting off with an explosion of activity."
Rob Johnston, manager of the Farmers Coop Grain Co. in Caldwell, said that his branch took in their first load of wheat on Friday. While there have been a few truckloads brought in every day since, full scale harvest hasn't erupted just yet. "Right now farmers seem to be focused on getting everything up and running smoothly before they get started," said Johnston. Test weights have been "very good" so far and have ranged around 62-63 pounds per bushel. Johnston was quick to point out that this is "very clean wheat," especially in comparison to recent years. "It looks much better out there, especially next to the last two years," Johnston said. "I think farmers out here are cautiously optimistic."