By Jim Misunas
Grain elevators and wheat farmers in central Kansas surpassed modest expectations with a better harvest than projections. The lack of spring moisture delivered one blessing — little or no disease.
Kanza Co-op, with 10 locations in central Kansas, reports 4.5 million bushels of wheat harvested.
Jim Bob Lewton of Kanza Co-op, said the average between 30 and 40 bushels was 5 to 10 bushels better than anticipated. Dryland wheat ranged from 10 to 60 bushels per acre with irrigated wheat in the 80 to 100 bushel range. Test weights have averaged a consistent 60 pounds per bushel.
“Everybody is pretty well pleased because they did better than they expected,” Lewton said. “The test weights have been excellent. The plants made less berries, but they were high quality.”
Stafford’s Randy Fritzemeier had an average of 36 bushels per acre, better than what he thought it would be before harvest began.
Fritzemeier, who is on the KAWG board of directors, said he started harvest June 9 and had less than four inches of precipitation this spring.
“It was 10 bushels better than what I expected,” he said. “Test weights were very good. It helped we had little or no disease.”
In Pawnee County, Katie Hammeke at the Budett elevator for Golden Valley, Inc., reports test weights averaged at 59 pounds per bushel. Farmers averaged between 20 and 30 bushels per acre.
Rodney Wallace Pawnee County Extension agent, said harvest is winding down. The county average was about 30 bushels per acre with test weights averaging from 58 to 62 pounds per bushel. Wheat ranged from zero yields to 60 bushels per acre. One irrigated area delivered a surprising 117 bushels per acre. The county’s test plot was prepared by Kevin Fox and Nick Snyder.
“Yields have been fairly decent,” Wallace said. “Farmers were feeling better than expected, especially with how dry the weather was. Some of them were in the right place at the right time.”
The news was similar for the Pawnee County Co-op, which is 80 percent complete.
“The crop has been good and farmers have been pleasantly surprised with the weather we’ve had this year,” said Kim Barnes.
The 2011 Kansas Wheat Harvest Reports also delivered some crop reports.
• Dave Radenberg, Kansas Wheat Commissioner from Claflin, said K-4 was the dividing line between good wheat and poor wheat. South of K-4, yields were lower. North of K-4 yields averaged 35 bushels per acre. Radenberg said test weight averaged 59 pounds per bushel with moisture at 11 percent.
• Dan Bernard, general manager of Agco, Inc. in Russell, reports test weights averaged 61 pounds per bushel and protein ranges from 12.2 to 13.5. Bernard said yields were to about 40 bushels per acre.