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Day 8, Kansas Wheat Harvest Report

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By Amelia Schatz, Kansas Wheat

 

This is day 8 of the Kansas Wheat Harvest Reports, brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, Kansas Grain and Feed Association and the Kansas Cooperative Council.

Drew Hubbell, who farms with his dad and uncle near Spearville in Ford County, reports harvest started on June 10, and they still have about a week to go. Fields are wet from recent rains, so they have had to move from field to field to find dry enough wheat. The rains on the mature wheat have taken about 10 to 15 bushels per acre off their yield potential and caused some lodging issues. Some fields have been hailed on up to three times.

Hubbell said they needed one of these rains in April. They had so much hope going into early spring but received no moisture between February and the middle of May.

Overall, though, they are pleased with this year’s harvest. T158 continues to be a workhorse variety for them year after year. Even after the lack of spring moisture, yields are ranging from 15 or 20 bushels per acre to 60 bushels per acre – sometimes within the same field. Test weights, even after several rounds of rain, are still averaging 58 to 59 pounds per bushel, and protein is 12 to 13 percent. Hubbell said there are a lot of 40 to 50 bushel yields in the area.

Jacqueline Leffler, of Lyon County, near Emporia, started harvesting on the 10th of June and just wrapped up Tuesday afternoon. She was excited to report that their wheat has “been yielding phenomenally,” with yields anywhere from 50 to 70 bushels per acre and test weights so high that they had to lighten their loads going to the elevator. 

During the spring, they experienced a substantial amount of moisture that often invites stripe rust and disease. They combatted this opportunity for damage with fungicide which paid off resulting in a great wheat crop. 

Jacqueline noted a challenge that not just the Lefflers’, but many farmers faced this year was a shortage in good help. She said that, “It seems like the stars have to align to find enough people to get everything done.” 

Despite some minor issues, she was excited about a great year for their wheat and was planting soybeans as part of their double cropping system. Lefflers double-crop almost 100% of their acres with soybeans. 

For the Berning family near Scott City, in Scott County, this is one of their better harvests. 

“This crop was unexpected,” he said, “Maybe some people were expecting their crop to look like this, but we weren’t.”

Starting a week ahead of normal, their yields have been highly variable with their harvested wheat exceeding 70 bushels per acre on dryland; however, with the dry spring conditions, they abandoned just under half of their wheat, which was all continuous behind corn.

Proteins for the Bernings have ranged anywhere from 14 to 15.5 percent on their wheat, with test weights above 62 pounds per bushel.

“We make sure to incorporate T158 every year,” Berning said. “It’s dad’s favorite variety, so we make sure it’s put in the ground every fall.”

Berning is also cutting KS Dallas, Canvas and Tatanka, and is pleasantly surprised with how it is looking. 

“It seems we just got lucky this year,” he said, “if you go less than 25 miles north, guys are cutting completely different yields.”

The Berning family is wrapping up harvest and expects to finish up by June 27, just in time to enjoy next week’s holiday weekend. 

Steve Clanton of Minneapolis in Ottawa County, started harvest around June 21, which is a week earlier than normal and wrapped up Tuesday evening. 

Clanton is seeing yields anywhere from averages of 30 to 50 bushels per acre, which he is describing this year as “strange.” 

“Even where I thought there was going to be good wheat, it wasn’t as good as I was expecting it to be,” Clanton said, “It didn’t make sense.”

Test weights ranged anywhere from 59 to 62 pounds per bushel. 

The next harvest report will be a special edition on hard white wheat to be published Thursday, June 27, 2024. 

The 2024 Harvest Reports are brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, Kansas Grain and Feed Association and the Kansas Cooperative Council. To follow along with harvest updates, use #wheatharvest24 on social media. Tag us at @kansaswheat on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to share your harvest story and photos.