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Wheat harvest reaches area fields
new slt wheat-tractor
A tractor travels east on the Two Mile Blacktop, south of Ellinwood, Thursday afternoon, June 9. - photo by photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Barton County farmers have been cutting wheat in some fields since Sunday. Elevators were open Tuesday evening, and harvest is expected to gain momentum Wednesday.
This is day 6 of the Kansas Wheat Harvest Reports.
Some areas of the state were treated to an overnight rain early on Tuesday, so some fields were left to dry out before harvest continued. Cutting has progressed throughout the state at odd intervals, with some northern counties like Dickinson seeing some action while some southern counties, like Kiowa, have seen combines rolling more sparsely. More live updates can be seen at #wheatharvest16 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Doug Keesling, who farms in Rice County, reports that he is about one-third of the way done with his wheat harvest. He started on June 10. Keesling reports that his harvest so far is going better than he expected, and even though there’s still a little green in the fields, the grain is dry. Protein is lower than average; however, test weights and moisture are good.
Mike Thomas, manager of the Cooperative Grain and Supply in Marion, said that wheat has been dribbling in bit by bit for around a week now. Even though the company’s first load of wheat came in on June 6, the area is still estimated to be only 24 percent complete and the location has taken in 220,000 bushels of wheat so far.
“While the stuff that’s on the top is ready to go, most of the crop in the valleys still seems pretty green,” Thomas said.
The test weights that have come in are “looking really good” with a range of 60-62 pounds per bushel. Thomas said that some farmers are reporting yield averages as high as 55-60 bushels per acre. Thomas also reported that protein content has been lower than average.
Craig Bennett, manager of the Farmers Coop Grain Co. in Abbyville, reported that harvest started in the area on June 10.
“I don’t think we’re quite in full swing yet, but with a few dry days we can really get started,” Bennett said. “While we were dry on Monday night, we did have a sprinkle on Sunday night that held us up a bit.”
Bennett reported that they hadn’t received any test results on proteins yet. Test weights are averaging 61 pounds per bushel, but so far it is a little too early in the game for fair yield estimates. Bennett said that most of the acres in his area had applied fungicide, so the wheat looks good by a visual estimate. He is predicting at least an average, if not a smidge above average, harvest this year.
The 2016 Harvest Report is brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and Kansas Grain and Feed Association. For exclusive #wheatharvest16 content, head to