Wheat harvest trickled into the southern border of Kansas earlier this week while making its way through an extended season in Texas and Oklahoma, reports the first installment of the Kansas Wheat Harvest Report. "Rains are continuing to delay harvest in Texas, but combines are beginning to start rolling in the Lone Star State this week. Oklahoma is reporting good yields and outstanding test weights, a trend that farmers are hoping will continue in Kansas," it states.
"In comparison to last year, the 2016 harvest season came much earlier in June for Kansas farmers. Last year's late season rains boosted yields, but kept combines in sheds across the state until later in June. This season, gentle rains have made for good grain fill and kept combines out of the fields until this weekend's dry weather," the report states. "Although 2016's yields will likely be higher statewide, a decline in planted acreage will hinder the final bushel count. The latest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service harvest estimate is 352.6 million bushels statewide, an increase from 321.9 million bu. last year."
Harvest got its start this year in the Arkansas City area. Kevin Kelly, general manager at the Two Rivers Coop, reported that farmers started cutting in his area on Saturday. So far their branch has taken in "a couple hundred thousand" bushels. Farmers have reported 40-50 bushel yields which is "much better than last year's harvest." Test weights are currently averaging 62-63 pounds per bushel.
- Farmers in Kiowa weren't much further behind. Steve Inslee, general manager at OK Coop Grain Co., started seeing some wheat hauled into his location Monday. The branch had seen around 48,000 bushels come in Monday, but expected to see a huge spike Tuesday. So far yields have averaged from 44-50 bushels per acre. Test weights have held steady at 63-64 pounds per bushel. Information on protein content so far is fairly limited, but Inslee has so far seen an average of around 12 percent, a number that may decrease as harvest progresses.
Inslee reported that harvest could last around 10-12 days in the area, depending on weather and custom cutter availability. "This year's crop is looking way better than the last three years," said Inslee. "It was a rough couple of years for our guys down here, but we're happy to see these yields up."