Rain expected to bring record harvest

? Elevators in parts of Kansas are bursting with what is expected to be a record harvest of fall grains.

At Providence Grain near Sublette, 1.5 million bushels of corn and 300,000 bushels of milo are on the ground. Elevator manager Jay Garetson said the elevator set single-day and single-week receiving records this fall.

“Everyone is trying to harvest at once,” Garetson said, because rainy weather extended the harvest into mid-November. He said elevators are staying open past midnight to help farmers bring in their crops.

“Normally fall harvest is more of a marathon,” he said. “This has been a series of sprints.”

In November, Kansas Agriculture Statistics Service predicted that the corn harvest would reach 561.2 million bushels, which would be a record. The same might be true for soybeans, which is forecast to reach 157 million bushels this year.

Rain has delayed the sorghum harvest the most, with 59 percent of the crop harvested last week, behind last year’s 71 percent and the five-year average of 85 percent.

Eighty percent of the corn crop has been harvested, behind both last year at 86 percent and the five-year average of 95 percent. And 82 percent of the state’s soybeans are in the bin.

Kent Martin, agronomist with Kansas State University Research and Extension’s southwest Kansas office, said he’s hearing of bumper yields from those not hurt by spring hail storms.

Dryland corn is hitting highs of 120 bushels an acre, he said. Sorghum is averaging from 40 to 130 bushels an acre.

“I actually had plots that went higher than 130,” he said. “It shows just how good our crops are this year with variable weather conditions.”