Recent hot, dry weather is finally allowing farmers in central Kansas to begin wheat harvest, though according to area cooperatives, it is still early enough in the harvest that there are very few measurements on the quality of the 2020 harvest.
Matt Penka at the Great Bend Coop said as of Wednesday night, they had taken in just 53,000 bushels of wheat. The average test weights for what they have taken in have been around 60 pounds per bushel, and average moisture content has been has been around 12.8%. Penka said they have not taken in enough yet to have solid protein or yield measurements. He said the wheat is still too wet to cut, but expects harvest to pick up in the area around the middle of next week.
Kim Barnes at the Pawnee County Cooperative said very few people in his area so far are cutting wheat, and they have not taken enough wheat in yet to be able to have any solid measurements on the quality of the wheat, because much of it in that area, he said, is still too wet to cut. He is hopeful that, weather permitting, they should see harvest pick up toward the end of the week.
According to the Kansas Wheat Commission, in counties farther south, wheat harvest has been progressing quickly and is moving farther north every day. Test weights and yields have been good in most of those locations. Weather forecasts for Thursday evening through Saturday are calling for chances of rain and thunderstorms, which could put a halt to harvest for a few days.
Rusty Morehead from Progressive Ag in Wellington in Sumner County, for example, reports that wheat harvest began on June 6. They are around 65-70% finished and expect to be complete within the next week. Yields are averaging around 55 bushels per acre, and most of the fields have big, full wheat heads. The average protein is 10%, but some is as high as 11-12%. Average test weight is 63 pounds per bushel.
According to Todd Dean of ADM Grain Co. of Greensburg in Kiowa County, farmers were starting to harvest on June 9, which was slightly earlier compared to normal. Yields have been averaging around 40 bushels per acre for continuous wheat and 65 bushels per acre for fallow. Test weights have been good at 62.25 pounds per bushel.
Bryce Ackerman from Offerle Coop Grain & Supply Co. in Edwards County reports that harvest began June 12 in Bucklin and their northern areas started the following day. Progress is rolling smoothly, but rain in the forecast Thursday could slow it down. Yields are averaging 50-60 bushels per acre this year, as expected, but that is not better than last year. Proteins have been variable, ranging from 9% to as high as 13%, with the overall average in the 10s. Test weights are great, averaging 62 to 64 pounds per bushel.
The 2020 Harvest Report is brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association. To follow along with harvest updates on Twitter, use # wheatharvest20. Tag us at @kansaswheat on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to share your harvest story and photos.