WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Hot, dry weather is helping the wheat harvest in Kansas.

Test cutting began over the weekend, but by Wednesday, harvest was in full swing in south central Kansas.

“It’s always a good day when the combine is moving with no breakdowns,” said Brock Neville.

Brock Neville is spending Friday out harvesting wheat with his brother Cody.

“As long as the air conditioning keeps blowing out 68 degrees I’m happy,” said Cody Neville.

The sibling duo said this heatwave is making harvesting this year less stressful.

“With the way weather has been, it is dry here so that allows for really good harvest conditions. You don’t have to fight the mud, you don’t have to worry about getting it in as quick as you can with rain coming or anything like that,” said Brock Neville.

Cody Neville said he expects most farmers in the area to be done harvesting wheat in the next 6 days. So far Cody said this year’s crop is looking good.

“Straw is pretty dry. Really, we are running into some areas where the straw is actually green but our moisture is still holding in there,” said Cody Neville.

“We are average to maybe above-average grain quality this year. I think it’s definitely better than last year. Our test weights are holding up,” said Brock Neville.

(Video: KSN Photographer Kevin Stebral)

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service noted 18% of the wheat crop was mature as of June 13, behind 28% last year at this time. Statewide, the agency rated the wheat crop’s condition at 64% good to excellent, 25% fair and 11% poor to very poor. 

Farmers across the area report that initial yields are down a bit from last year, but the quality of the crop is comparable.

Rains delayed the start of harvest in Texas, and custom harvesters were slow to move through Oklahoma. But with the extreme heat this week, many of them are moving into the southern portions of the state.

Photo Gallery: 2021 Wheat Harvest