Jul 09, 2024

Day 12, Kansas Wheat Harvest Report

Posted Jul 09, 2024 1:30 AM


This is day 12 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.

Officially, the Kansas wheat harvest is 92 percent complete, well ahead of 55 percent complete last year and 72 percent for the five-year average, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service crop progress report for the week ending July 7, 2024. Northwest Kansas has the most remaining wheat to be cut at 70 percent harvested.

Kansas had widespread rain over the weekend, which kept harvest on Monday at a standstill for many areas. Still, the southwest area is about 91 percent complete and wrapping straggling fields after beginning harvest early - the first week of June compared to the normal Father’s Day start. 

Lori Deyoe, grain originator with Skyland Grain, covers a wide swath of the western third of the state - from Leoti to the southern Kansas border and from the western border with Colorado to Kismet. Based in Ulysess in Grant County, she reported good weather throughout the growing season. Snow in December made the crop and the cooler, wetter weather in May during filling finished it nicely - for those that received those rains. 

She estimated taking in more than double the wheat from last year’s slap in the face. After thinking this year’s harvest would be sub-average, the final numbers look to hit average or maybe even a tick better. The wheat in the bins is headed via truck to the mills near Wichita, fulfilling demand within the state. 

Yields range from 10 to 85 bushels per acre for dryland wheat and 85 to 115 bushels per acre on irrigated fields. Test weights started out tremendous above 60 pounds per bushel at the start of harvest, but after much-needed rains moved in have gone down. Proteins have been extremely regionalized ranging from 10 percent to above 12 percent. 

“Everybody is extremely happy with their farm averages coming in from the field,” Deyoe said. “Everyone is ecstatic we’re getting the rains we’re getting, but wish we had been done with harvest before they started.” 

The gully-washer on Saturday night will benefit fall crops, keeping producers delayed from the one or two cutting days needed to fully wrap up harvest. Farmers near Lakin would have finished Sunday or Monday and custom harvest crews are making quick work of remaining fields around Johnson. Last, but not least, irrigated fields north of Ulysses will likely be the last few to be cut. 

Near Norton, Chris Tanner started cutting his WestBred Grainfield wheat on Monday, June 24, only to be delayed by rain the next day. They had been cutting a phenomenal crop with yields between 50 and 60 bushels per acre, strong test weights ranging from 59 to 63 pounds per bushel and great protein at 12 to 14 percent. 

“We are in a sweet spot here,” Tanner said. 

He credited an ideal growing season to good moisture throughout the year. Sufficient moisture at drilling meant the wheat came up early with well-established stands. In the spring, the wheat emerged from dormancy early, but in good shape and the luck continued. 

While the weather was on-track, fertilizer prices were high, and Tanner noted he spent money on fungicide applications due to rust pressure. Producers did abandon some fields due to Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus, which has been bad in the area, in addition to some yield loss from Barley yellow dwarf virus. 

A couple of 1.5 inch rains and several smaller showers have decreased yields 10 to 12 percent, test weights down to 55 to 57 pounds per bushel and protein averaging in the mid-11s. Even with the rain detriment, the year should end above average by the time harvest wraps up by the end of this week.

This year’s harvest is in stark contrast to last year’s disaster when a lot of wheat in northern Norton County was abandoned due to drought. The residue from this year’s crop is some of the best Tanner has had in his career and will benefit his subsequent crops. 

“The most exciting part of this year’s harvest is the residue,” Tanner said. “The most disappointing part is the price.”

As fields dry out and those last few acres are cut, the Kansas Wheat crew will issue the final Kansas wheat harvest report on Tuesday, July 9.

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 FacebookInstagram and Twitter to share your harvest story and photos.