The 1994 harvest exceeded Harold Neis' expectations. He wasn't alone.
After being turned into swampland during the Flood of '93, Douglas County's farm fields have rebounded.
With the vast majority of crops having been harvested, producers are calling 1994 an average to above-average year.
"It was pretty good for me," said Harold Neis, who farms 800 to 900 acres near Eudora. "I've had a lot worse."
Like '93. A year ago, Neis and other farmers were salvaging fields inundated by rains that seemed to have fallen constantly for months. Farmers and elevator operators reported that yields on some crops were as much as 50 percent below average.
Neis said flooding last summer doused his optimism about the '94 growing season. Arid weather this summer also had him worried.
But his wheat crop came in at 40 bushels per acre, about five bushels above average. He also netted good yields on corn and milo, along with average yields on soybeans.
Garry Keeler, Douglas County agriculture extension agent, said Neis' story was fairly common. He said countywide, farmers produced an outstanding corn crop along with good amounts of wheat and soybeans.
"I think the farmers were surprised," he said. "I thought probably the fields would not work very good, just because of all water and erosion we had last year."
Danny Akin, manager of Farmers Elevator Co., Eudora, described crop quality as excellent. Test weights, or the weight of crops per bushel, came in 2 to 4 pounds above average.
Arid weather took a toll on some cropland, however. A lack of rainfall -- the area received almost three inches less rain than usual during June and July -- caused some crops to wither.
"Some people would get an inch and the guy next to them would get nothing," Akin said.
Which, some producers say, is about what farmers are getting for this year's crops.
Akin said corn prices stood at $2 a bushel, compared to $2.60 or $2.70 a year ago. Beans, which were selling around $6 a bushel in 1993, had plunged to $5.05 to $5.30 a bushel this year.
"You can't have good yields and good prices. It just doesn't work that way," Akin said.
Still, Keeler said he thought most farmers would think the '94 harvest was a success.
"Overall, we've had better years and better prices, but it's been one of the better years," he said.