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Kansas wheat harvest report


According to the Kansas Wheat Commission, Monday’s harvest report is a tale of the widely varying growing conditions across the state, from abandoned acres in drought-afflicted southwest Kansas to ample moisture and good yields in the southeast. 

Soft red winter (SRW) wheat harvest is just getting started in Crawford County with combines starting to roll in the middle of last week, according to the Kansas Wheat Commission Report. It’s too early to report many yields and quality thus far is a bit hit-and-miss, according to Brice Elnicki, general manager/CEO of Producers Coop Association in Girard.  

The growing season in this far southeastern part of the state differs greatly from wheat production further west. Here, the area typically receives adequate moisture over the winter and doesn’t have winterkill issues. Generally, the local SRW wheat crop receives adequate rainfall — which is why producers plant soft wheat varieties with disease tolerance packages, rather than the drought-tolerant hard wheat varieties planted further west. Elnicki explained producers want a dry end of May and start of June to head off quality concerns like sprouting. Good yields come in at 80 bushels per acre, 100-bushel wheat is very good and 110 to 120 bushels per acre is “damn good.” Harvested SRW wheat will be marketed to domestic flour mills in the Kansas City area.   

This year’s growing season was good, but a little wetter than producers would prefer. The weather dried out in the last two to three weeks, which removed pre-harvest quality concerns. Early yields are coming in between 80 to 100 bushels an acre, not a chart-topper, but good results. Average test weight is 60.8 pounds per bushel and moisture is 12.3 percent.  

While the majority of wheat growers in the area did spray fungicide, the ones that did not are seeing low incidence of vomitoxin, with less than 15 percent of fields affected, Elnicki reported. 

Nearly all of the SRW wheat acres in the area will be double-cropped to soybeans, but Elnicki said area producers are waiting for rain later on this week before they get started.