GARDEN PLAIN, Kan. (KSNW) — Bringing in the harvest is the best time of year for a lot of Kansas farmers.
“Harvest time is always special especially when there’s something out there worth cutting,” said Dan Kerschen, a Garden Plain farmer.
And it’s looking like a good crop for many like Kerschen, with prices for wheat roughly double compared to last year.
Diesel is turning out to be a profit killer in 2022.
“Record high, and the commodities are high, too, right now,” said Kerschen. “With fertilizers and fuels, and just the other day, we put in 1,000 gallons of fuel a day in those two combines just because that’s what it takes now. It’s so expensive.”
Kerschen is not alone.
“Farmers do stand to break even this year,” said KSN Ag Analyst John Jenkinson. “But with diesel prices just skyrocketing as fast as they are, I know the other day I paid $4.85 for farm diesel. It’s going to be a tough year.”
The wheat looks very good in some spots. Very bad in parts of western Kansas.
Wheat quality was testing 11.2 around Garden Plain on Monday, and some were getting bushels around 60 plus.
“I think we’re going to have some excellent yields out there, but we’re also going to have some pretty poor yields,” said Kansas State Research and Extension agent Jeff Seiler. “The main story of this wheat crop was definitely our drought.”
Seiler says wheat planted in a wheat field from last year has been good. But 2022 wheat planted in corn or soybean fields has, in places, struggled to get enough moisture early on in the growth cycle.
Meanwhile, as farmers continue to juggle finances and fields to deal with input costs that are up 200-300%, there is hope for next year.
“Well, you hope for good yields and maybe a break,” said Kerschen. “And maybe if we have a good year and raise enough volumes of crops, that helps, too.”