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Kansas Wheat Harvest Reports - June 29 - July 1

Wednesday was day 13 of the Kansas What Harvest Reports, provided by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association.

Dean Stoskopf, who farms in Barton County, was able to start off harvest on June 25. Even though this year’s harvest was a week late compared to last year’s, harvest has been running smoothly, and he has high hopes of finishing up on July 2. Yields are averaging in the low 50s and ranging from 35 to 65 bushels per acre, making it an average crop. Barton County was lucky enough to be missed by an area hailstorm but was hit with some heavy windstorms, which caused the crop to shatter.

Lisa Schemm, who farms in Wallace and Logan counties, reports that they are finished with wheat harvest. They took in their first load on June 26, and only had a total of 176 acres this year. Throughout the surrounding areas, about 70% of the wheat is harvested. Schemm’s crop averaged 12.9% protein and test weight was 62.2 pounds per bushel. This year, harvest was able to start right on time with no weather causing impacts or damage to the crop. One thing that Schemm did differently this year was to use dry fertilizer on the wheat, which, in her opinion, seemed to help.

Golden Belt Coop Association of Ellis started this year’s harvest on time by taking in their first load on June 17. They have taken 550,000 bushels in so far. Yields are ranging anywhere from 20 to 50 bushels per acre, with 70% of the wheat harvested in the surrounding area. Farmers are hoping to be done with harvest by July 5, weather permitting. This season’s crop was down from last year by 20% due to the amount of freeze damage they received.

According to General Manager Daren Fischer, “We are lucky to have any wheat, as cold as the temperatures were. I am surprised - any other year, it would have got all of it, but I’m not sure how it survived.” Some wheat was able to survive by either having a shelter belt or a wind block.

In Herington, Kansas Agri Trails Coop is just getting started. They received their first load on June 26. They have received 50,000 bushels of wheat so far, and it is averaging 10-11% on the protein. Harvest was late getting started because of harsh weather.

Day 12 reports, June 30

Patrick Egging from Kanza Coop Assn. in Pratt reports that harvest began on June 15. With the weather cooperating and bringing in dry and hot temperatures, farmers were able to start harvest only a couple days later than normal. Throughout harvest they have brought in a total of 460,000 bushels of wheat with proteins sampling in the high 10s. As of right now, farmers are at the 90% range when it comes to completing harvest, though they plan to hopefully be done in the next couple of days. Comparing to an average year, bushels have gone down for Kanza Coop Assn., but in an overall look at the county it is more of an average year.

Gary Gantz from D.E. Bondurant Grain in Ness City reports that harvest began on June 18 and has been going full swing, with about 90% already harvested. Average yield is ranging from 35 to 45 bushels per acre. Proteins early on in harvest were low with better than expected yields, but as harvest has progressed protein levels rose and yields dropped.

“We are trying to separate the protein here, and it seems like we are finding some that we are able to group in 12% and above and then the 11% and lower,” said Gantz. “I would say there is an equal amount of each.”

This year Ness City received a hard hailstorm, causing a loss in a couple hundred thousand bushels of production. There were several farmers in this area that were not able to cut any wheat and several farmers whose fields were damaged very severely. Farmers were in hopes that their production would be up this year from last, but overall production is down. This is due, in part, to the hailstorm, but was also caused by an overabundance of dryness in the fall, winter and spring. Many fields around this area are now doing double crops, where their wheat is being planted behind corn, making it more challenging for the best production.

Justin Knopf, who farms in Saline County, was able to start harvesting on June 24. A majority of farmers in the area have passed the halfway point of harvest. With weather cooperating this year, he was able to start harvest on time. Protein levels range from 10 to 13%, with a vast majority in the 12s. When it came to outstanding varieties, Knopf said there was more variability based on planting date and impact of freeze than there was from variety performance.

“We were very fortunate to have good grain fill conditions, which helps mask some of the damage done from the Easter freeze on some of our earlier planted wheat,” said Knopf. “Some of those fields I had anticipated on being in the mid-30s are doing better than I had imagined, producing closer to the 50s range. Overall, our yields are average compared to long term; some fields are running a little above average. These fields are showing better production than I would have imagined 2 months ago.”

In Rice County, Doug Keesling was able to start harvest and take in the first load on June 25. Due to rainfall right before harvest, they were delayed five days more than last year. Even though they were delayed, harvest is right on track. They are 75% finished and have only two more days in the field. This year’s test weights have been good, and the crop is yielding well, compared to previous years. Some varieties that stood out were AgriPro’s Bob Dole and Kansas Wheat Alliance’s Zenda. 

Day 11 reports, June 29

According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, for the week ending June 28, 2020, Kansas wheat condition rated 7% very poor, 13% poor, 34% fair, 39% good and 7% excellent. Winter wheat mature was 90%, well ahead of 68% last year. Harvested was 47%, well ahead of 21% last year, but near 51% for the five-year average.

Dwight Elmore from Ellsworth Coop reports that they took in their first load on June 17, and their harvest is only about 1/3 complete. They received rain in some areas, which has delayed harvest, and they also have signs of hail damage. Yields have ranged from 20-70 bushels per acre in a single field. Most of the reason for such low bushels can be traced back to freeze damage in this area. Proteins levels are around mid-11 to 12%. Comparing this year to an average year, Elmore said, “We will be somewhere close to where we were in a 5-year average.” This year’s harvest was able to take off earlier than they had anticipated. He said, “This year was better than last year, but they were still hoping it would have been earlier yet.”

Mike Britton from Mid State Farmers Coop in Rush County said they took in their first load of wheat on June 19, and are hoping to be on the downhill slide by this Friday. Some farmers are reporting that it is yielding better than they expected. Proteins are running anywhere from 9 to 14%, with a majority in the 11s and 12s. Britton says this year’s numbers are looking great and may possibly be a little better than last year.

Steve Kliewer, who farms in Gray County, reports that he lost about a third of his acres to hail. He started cutting on June 19, but the ground was a little too wet. He is now 80% done and is expecting to be wrapped up by July 2. He said proteins have been above average at 13-14%. Test weights are 61-62 pounds per bushel. Dryland wheat in the area didn’t emerge until February because there was no rain last fall. His best dryland yields are in the 45 bushels per acre range. The best irrigated yield was about 78, which is below average.

“I didn’t expect much more than that,” said Kliewer. “It didn’t look like a good irrigated crop by any means.” His irrigated fields were Dyna-Gro Seed’s Underwood and Longbranch varieties.

“Last year was a real good crop everywhere,” he said. This year has been the opposite. “It has just been a challenge from the word go. More hail than ever - had to replant cotton and corn. Then it got hailed out again. It’s just a challenge.”

Derek Sawyer, who farms in McPherson County, reports that he took in his first load on June 24 and will probably finish mid-week. Harvest has moved quickly, but yields are inconsistent and he’s heard that proteins in the area are below average. Doublestop CL Plus from Oklahoma Genetics Inc. has been his best variety.

He said that his fields are averaging in the low 60s, which is better than last year when they had a lot of wheat that was flooded out and average yield was only 45. Test weights haven’t been good, ranging from mid to upper 50s. The hot wind the area received a couple weeks ago really hurt the wheat. It wasn’t quite done, and it shriveled.

“We had more freeze damage than I thought. I didn’t think we had much,” Sawyer said. “Overall, it’s disappointing. For the weather we had, it’s probably not bad, but I was hoping we’d be better.”

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.