This is day 3 of the Kansas Wheat Harvest Reports, brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association.
Clouds may have covered most of the state throughout Wednesday, but the rain, rain kept away from the harvesting acres for yet another day during #wheatharvest18.
Jan Strunk, a farmer from Colwich, reported that he and his crew are wrapping up and are hoping to be finished by Wednesday evening. Test cutting started on Monday, June 4, and ramped up to full force harvesting by Tuesday, June 5. Strunk said that he is expecting an overall average of about 35 bushels per acre.
“The heads just didn’t fill out,” said Strunk. “There were only half the amount of kernels that we normally have. It’s a lot of factors in that, the drought, shallow root systems and the freeze.”
While Strunk didn’t have official word from his local elevator on his protein levels, he predicts that they will be higher than previous years. Test weights are averaging about 59.5 pounds per bushel.
“We’ve been pretty fortunate that we’d had several good harvests back to back before this one,” Strunk said. “We can’t have a bumper crop every year, unfortunately. That’s just the nature of the business.”
Brad Wedel, manager of the Moundridge branch of Mid-Kansas Co-op, reported receiving his first load on June 7. He estimates that they are nearly 50 percent complete. Quality is looking good for Moundridge farmers, but yields remain as elusive as the Kansas rain.
“Right now we’re averaging around 59 pounds per bushel,” sad Wedel. “Our benchmark is 60, but we were honestly expecting much lower.”
Proteins in the area are very high this year, with Wedel estimating an average between 13-14 percent.
“In the previous few years 13 was considered high,” said Wedel. “This year, that will be a bit lower than average. In 30 years in the business I think this is the highest protein crop I’ve seen.”
Wedel reported that yields range from 25-45 bushels per acre this season. Lower yields can be attributed to a lack of rain on the plains this year and a few late freezes in the area.
“Even though yields are lower this year, I think it’s important to point out that technologies we have now, have really helped the crop survive the curveballs that nature throws at it,” Wedel said. “If we would have had these conditions 30 years ago, we would have been looking at single digits to 15 bushels per acre.”
The 2018 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 #wheatharvest18.