The Kansas Association of Wheat Growers says while most Americans enjoyed a work-free Memorial Day Weekend, Kansas wheat farmers and custom harvest crews spent a warm and windy holiday weekend in the harvest fields. Temperatures soared into triple digits in areas of southern Kansas, and hot south winds sped up the ripening of the 2012 wheat crop.
In Minneapolis, Pat Breeding, grain merchandiser at the Scoular Company elevator there says light cutting is occurring, with farmers having brought in about 30,000 bushels of wheat on Monday. Test weight of this early-harvested crop averages about 59 pounds; protein is 10.5. Breeding anticipates the area wheat harvest will gear up mid-week. This is the earliest wheat harvest in Breeding's 41 year career.
Near Kipp in Saline County, KAWG Director Justin Knopf has completed his first field of the 2012 harvest. The variety Everest yielded about 42 bushels per acre, with test weight averaging about 62 pounds per bushel. Knopf says wheat fields planted after soybean harvest last fall are maturing more rapidly than those planted earlier last fall; these fields are yielding surprisingly well given extreme heat and lack of moisture the last six weeks. Knopf expects better yields as harvest rolls along.
The Andale Farmers Coop locations in Andale and Colwich have taken in 18,000 and 16,000 bushels, respectively, so far. Farmers are still trying to find dry fields, according to grain manager Steve Morris. The crop is variable, with test weights ranging from 57 to 64 and averaging 61 pounds; and protein ranging from 9 to 14.6 and averaging about 10.5. Yields range from 30 to 60 bushels per acre, according to Morris, who says harvest should pick up steam on Tuesday.
Monday was the first big day of harvest for Jim Michael, KAWG director from McCune in Crawford County. Farmers there expect a good harvest, and Michael says his field of the variety Everest yielded a bit better than 70 bushels per acre, with 63 pound test weights and moisture averaging 12.5. Southeast Kansas farmers planted 430,000 acres of wheat last fall; the highest total in nearly five years.
- Farmers in the Protection area of Comanche County are eight days into the 2012 wheat harvest, says Brian Harris, manager of the Farmers Coop Company there. Test weights there average about 60 pounds per bushel and early protein samples averaged about 14. Area custom harvesters report yields between 30 and 45 bushels per acre. The harvest is about one-third complete.
The 2012 Harvest Salute to Producers is sponsored by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and sponsors Kansas City Board of Trade, and the Kansas Grain & Feed Association.