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Archive for Saturday, June 3, 2006

Rain delays state harvest

June 3, 2006

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— Soggy fields across the ripening wheat belt in southernmost Kansas have stalled much of the harvest before it even began. But with temperatures rising into the 90s over the next few days and forecasts calling for mostly clear skies, the winter wheat harvest should be in full swing across the area by next week.

Reports coming in Friday from the Kansas Department of Commerce's wheat harvest offices in southern Kansas talked about muddy conditions. Some areas have wheat ready to cut, while in other places the wheat is still green to ripening.

The forecast for temperatures soaring into the 90s during the next few days should spur cutting.

"It has been raining for the last three days. We really haven't been doing much," said Alan Meyers, general manager of the OK Co-op Grain Co. elevator in Kiowa.

Showers each night and high humidity each day have combined to leave the wheat too wet to cut, he said.

Most wheat cut so far in Kansas has been around Kiowa, which has taken in 400,000 bushels between rains over the last several days. Test weights have exceeded 61 pounds per bushel, Meyers said.

The benchmark for No. 1 wheat, the highest quality grade, is 60 pounds per bushel.

Even fewer wheat fields have been cut elsewhere as farmers and cutters alike waited for widespread rains to pass and the wheat to dry.

Hartner took in 2,500 bushels, according to the wheat harvest office in Pratt County. Test weights have been running around 59 to 60 pounds per bushel, with yields of around 20 to 30 bushels per acre.

Farmers in Comanche County have cut just a few fields, with Coldwater taking in 1,300 bushels and Protection taking in 2,450 bushels on Thursday. They are reporting test weights around 61 pounds per bushel.

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