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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Wheat crop is almost ready to harvest

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  • The wheat crop may seem late this year, but it's really on a more normal schedule, K-State extension agent Ryan Flaming said Wednesday.
    Last year was a very unusual early year for wheat and harvesting was almost finished by this time.
    "We are still in that normal time span for a normal year," he said. Usually wheat is harvested in late June and about done early in July, and that is likely to be the
    case this year.
    People in northern Oklahoma are starting to harvest now, and people in the southern most areas of Kansas
    may start over the next few days.
    With another week of warm weather, Flaming said combines should start rolling in the Harvey County area.
    Last year the wheat crop was one of the best on record as far as yield, and local officials believe
    another good crop could be had this year. Weather has been good with a relatively mild spring and some
    good rainfall.
    "It is hard to tell before you start cutting, but we have had a very good spring. It looks like we could
    have a good yield. Heads are looking big and full so far," Flaming said.
    Farmers look for a certain moisture content in the wheat before they start harvesting. Fields in the
    area are looking golden brown, but there are still some green stems in the field, meaning it is not
    quite ready.
    According to the Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service, there were 119,000 acres of wheat planted in Harvey County last year, and that produced 6,305,000 bushels of wheat. The average for the county was 54.1 bushels per acre, which was highest in the central Kansas region that averaged 44 bushels per acre. The state average was 44 bushels per acre last year.
    Crawford County had the highest average yield with 61.6 bushels per acre breaking the record 50.0 bushels per acre set in  1997. Miami County had the second highest average yield with 59.6 bushels per acre. Wilson County had the third highest average yield with 57.9 bushels per acre. Harvey County was 11th in yield per acre last year.
    A new report estimates that just 11 percent of the Kansas winter wheat is now ripe. The Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that last year by this late in the season, 97 percent of the crop had ripened. The average for this time of year is 44 percent.
    The agency also rated wheat conditions as 45 percent poor to very poor. Twenty-seven percent was reported in fair condition while 24 percent was in good and 4 percent in excellent shape.
    The weekly snapshot of Kansas agriculture also showed that 98 percent of the corn crop had emerged. Its condition was rated as 8 percent poor to very poor, 31 percent fair, 54 percent good and 7 percent excellent.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Associated Press contributed to this report.
     

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