Barton County and much of the state received widespread rains overnight on June 19 into the 20th, which put harvest on hold in many areas.
According to Great Bend Coop General manager Frank Riedl, the rain shut harvest down in Barton County. The rain also dropped the test weights down from 59-61 pounds per bushel to 58-59 pounds per bushel.
“The drop in weights is expected with the rain,” Riedl said. “Harvests should get back into full swing Thursday afternoon when some of the fields dry up.”
The Kansas Wheat Harvest Reports, provided by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association, shared reports from other parts of the state.
Shane Eck, location manager of Mid Kansas Coop in McPherson County, reported they received their first load of wheat on June 2. Eck said they are about 95 percent complete in their area. He said the yields are below average, and his location is above average for protein.
“I have heard people talking about yields being anywhere from 10 to 60 bushels per acre,” Eck said. “That’s a wide range to have, but I’ve seen averages around 20 to 30 bushels.”
Eck reported their test weights have been close to 60 pounds per bushel.
“It rained last night, which has put harvest on hold,” Eck said. “The late frost and the dry weather on the crop has had a big effect on wheat in the area. It has put a lot of stress on the wheat.”
Anna Luna, location manager from Midland Marketing in Rooks County, reported harvest has not yet begun in the Palco area. They have taken some samples from the fields, but they are still pretty wet.
Luna said there was a lot of rain Tuesday night, anywhere from an inch and a half to two inches.
“Because of the rain, we have had to put off harvest until next week,” Luna said. “Some of our fields are still green and need more time.”
Luna has heard reports of 20-30 bushels per acre for yields in surrounding areas and expects to have similar results.
Safety during harvest
Hot, windy days are quickly turning Kansas wheat fields into amber waves of grain. With the harvest season underway, more farm equipment and trucks will be taking to the roadways, so caution is a must.
The Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Highway Patrol offer the following tips to help you travel safely around farm equipment this harvest season:
Slow down: Farm equipment moves slower than you and typically doesn’t exceed speeds of 15-25 mph. Use the orange triangles on the back of farm machinery as a cue to reduce your speed.
Share the road: Tractors, trucks and combines take up more lane space than a normal vehicle. Do not pass unless you can clearly see ahead of both your vehicle and the machine you are passing. Farmers may not always be able to move over for you to pass, so remember to be patient.
Watch for turns: Be aware of farm equipment pulling on to roads from fields and vice versa. Also, farm equipment pulling to the right side of the road may not always be turning. Larger pieces of equipment require wide left turns, so allow plenty of room and time for them to turn.
Don’t assume: Most farmers regularly check for vehicles around them, but don’t assume they know you are there. Farm equipment can be quite loud, hindering the driver’s ability to hear your vehicle.
Stay alert: Expect heavy truck traffic near grain elevators and co-ops. Grain trucks may be stopped on the road while waiting to unload grain. Consider using an alternate route away from elevators.
See tracks, think train: Grain goes to market by train as well as truck. Be watchful when approaching railroad crossings.