Wichita The onset of hot, windy weather in the past few days has dried many soggy wheat fields across Kansas, boosting the stalled winter wheat harvest in spite of scattered showers plaguing parts of the state.
About 20 percent of the Kansas wheat crop has now been harvested, Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday. That is far behind the 77 percent cut at this time last year, or the 49 percent harvested in Kansas on average by this late in the season.
The newly released update represented a big improvement from the 2 percent of the crop that was in the bin last week as frustrated farmers watched seemingly incessant rains further drive down crop quality.
The crop condition report Monday rated 40 percent of the Kansas wheat crop in poor to very poor condition. About 28 percent was rated in fair condition. Just 25 percent of the Kansas wheat crop got a good rating, and only 7 percent of it was rated excellent.
The Monday harvest update from Kansas Wheat, a cooperative venture between the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Wheat Commission, showed spotty quality as the trucks brought the first loads into country grain elevators.
The Scott Co-op in Scott City reported test weights were holding up but yields were not as high as optimistic expectations.
Not enough custom wheat cutters were available yet in the Oberlin area, and without them, harvest might take a couple of weeks, the Decatur Co-op Association elevator reported. But the quality of grain harvested so far in those parts was excellent, with test weights ranging from 59 to 64 pounds per bushel and yields of 40 to 70 bushels per acre.
Yields also were down from expectations in the Concordia area, where farmers were reporting about 35 bushels per acre, said general manager Robert Johnson. But he told Kansas Wheat the crop was better than he expected, with an average test weight of 58 pounds per bushel.
Usually by this time, the harvest is finished around Kiowa. But rain, including another shower over the weekend, has beleaguered farmers in the region. The elevator has brought in just 500,000 bushels this year compared with the 4 million bushels usually brought in by this time, said Alan Meyers at OK Co-op Grain Co. in Kiowa.