SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — Wheat harvest is underway, and months of very little rain have taken a toll on the crop. Now that it’s falling, it’s causing even more headaches.
The fields were dry up until a few weeks ago when the rain started to fall. The wheat fields are ready for harvest, but the rain is putting a dent in plans, just one of many barriers farmers are facing.
“This year’s harvest has been anything but easy,” said Sedgwick County farmer Kent Winter.
Winter said his bushels per acre are low this year.
“I’m guessing my yields are going to be in the teens and twenties where normally they are in the fifties on most of my dry land,” said Winter.
The drought made some of his crop struggles.
“There are a couple of fields that we aren’t even going to cut because the insurance put them between one and two bushels an acre,” said Winter.
He said with the cost of machinery and diesel, and fuel, it doesn’t pay to harvest that wheat.
He’s grateful for the recent rain, but it stops wheat harvest due to wet fields.
When Winter can harvest his wheat, he is gathering more than his crop.
“We are not used to fighting the weeds at harvest time,” said Winter.
These obstacles are hitting all lines of agriculture.
Farmers Coop in Cheney is seeing about 10-25 bushels per acre normally, farmers get about 40-45.
“It is definitely going to have a huge impact on the Coop financially and our producers financially,” said Rusty Morehead, Farmers Coop general manager.
Morehead said they have farmers bring their crops within a 60-mile radius of Cheney.
“Most of this year, I’m guessing, will stay local and hit the local mills,” said Morehead.
Morehead said with the lower yields, they expect mills to search elsewhere to make up for less grain this year.
The weeds are also impacting Farmers Coop.
“It is going to take quite a bit more management from the elevator standpoint as far as moving grain, trying to keep things in condition, watching your bin temperatures and things like that to make sure the quality stays good,” said Morehead.
Farmers said it is good to have this rain for the autumn crops, but they hope things dry out to save what is left of this year’s wheat.
Winter said his autumn crops are off to a good start, but the drought isn’t over yet, and we’ve barely made a dent.
He said they are hopeful this rain sticks around for the summer to grow a healthy Fall crop.