Wheat harvest has begun in Crawford County and warm weather may help speed up the process.
Wildcat District Extension Agent Josh Coltrain said he saw wheat being cut near McCune Friday morning — the first he’d seen in Crawford County, although farmers in Montgomery and Labette counties started harvesting earlier. Coltrain said it is hard to say how long harvest will take as it all depends on the weather.
According to the National Weather Service in Springfield, Missouri, Crawford County is looking at dry weather until chances for thunderstorms move in Wednesday.
“If the rain holds off those five days, we can get quite a bit cut,” Coltrain said Friday.
Recent high temperatures — into the upper 80s and low 90s — have been good, but Coltrain said high humidity can delay harvest.
“If we were dry like western Kansas, farmers could start cutting a lot earlier in the day,” he said.
While the dry weather is good for wheat harvest, it puts farmers in a bind with other crops.
“Full-season soybeans are still being planted, and after wheat is harvested double-crop soybeans will go in,” Coltrain said. “Some soybeans are starting to sprout, but with limited moisture storage it is putting farmers in the conundrum of wanting it to stay dry for wheat harvest and wanting rain for their baby soybean plants.”
Coltrain said corn is also using a lot of moisture in its current growth stage. Corn plants that survived heavy rains are doing well, according to Coltrain.
“It’s really shooting up,” he said. “I like to joke that if you were bored enough you could sit and watch it grow.”
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.