WILSEY, Kan. (KSNT) – Wheat harvest in Kansas is a bit behind this year. But when farmers are getting out in the field, many are enjoying the results they see.
Sixty-five percent of the wheat that’s been harvested has been good to excellent condition. But the state is lagging in the amount of the total wheat that’s typically cut right now. It sits 10% lower than normal.
“We’re later because we’ve had some rain delays. You have to wait for the wheat to dry down, so any kind of shower overnight, or high humidity really slows down the harvest in a lot of areas,” said Daryl Strouts, CEO of the Kansas Wheat Alliance.
Just north of Wilsey, Kansas, Strouts’ dad, Lawrence grows wheat. On Wednesday there was a bit of a hold-up getting equipment to the field.
“It’s the life of a farmer, it’s a busy time. Some of them are still putting up hay in the area, that sort of thing, the ranching, the cattle issues, and so everything happens at once it seems like,” Strouts said.
But that doesn’t mean things aren’t getting done.
The Kansas Foundation Seed Project at K-State tested out fourteen different varieties on the land this year. Samples were taken on Wednesday. They will be compared to see how the weather affected each one and how much yield the plant produced.
“One of the difficult decisions farmers have now is what variety works best for me,” Strouts said.
Foundation Seed Manager Addie Clary compared the project to apples. How there are many different types, and some are better eating straight or for baking a pie.
“Is it tolerant to a certain type of disease or a certain condition that farmers may be concerned about, like if their soil is more acidic, will it do well in that area,” Clary said.
A small combine was used to harvest a small section of each two-acre variety.
“We’ll cut each variety, test the yield that we get from it, and hopefully it will show us what kind of variety has adapted to this area,” Clary said.