Harvest swelled across Kansas this weekend as the hot, dry weather made for perfect cutting weather. Farmers tried to get as much done as they could over the weekend due to chances of storms brewing on Monday and Tuesday, according to the 2016 Kansas Wheat Harvest Report.
Jake Van Allen, a Clearwater farmer, reported that they have seen 10-12 percent moisture and no test weights under 60 pounds per bushel in the loads that they have hauled in since June 7. He said that some test weights have even come in at close to 65 pounds per bushel. One of Van Allen's stand out varieties has been Everest, the most widely planted variety in Kansas six years running. "I think we're all pretty happy with the results considering the book that has been thrown at this wheat crop," said Van Allen. "It started out pretty dry, and we didn't get much snow during the winter, and coming out of winter it was more of the same dry spell. In early spring we got a few freezes that really affected our wheat crop. But these last few rains that we've gotten in the last month have really helped the wheat fill pretty nicely."
Pat Lies, manager of the Farmers Cooperative Grain Association in Conway Springs, said that by Saturday the cooperative had received about 1.9 million bushels of wheat across its three branches, with an expected 500,000 bushels per day to pour in during its busiest harvest days. So far Lies has seen "good, clean wheat." While protein content was lower than average, test weights were holding steady at around 62.9 pounds per bushel. He predicts that harvest will last around another week in the area, as long as farmers can get "three good days of uninterrupted cutting."
Phil White, a Wellington area farmer, said that he has been cutting since June 8. White said that while most test weights have been ranging from 61-62 pounds per bushel, he did have one load that tested around 58 pounds per bushel. He added that that low test weight was on an untreated field that was hammered down by stripe rust. So far yields for White have ranged from 35-45 bushels per acre, but he said that he has some even better looking fields that he will be cutting into in the next week.