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Kansas Wheat Harvest Report: Week 1

Combines are rolling in south-central Kansas, and variability is the theme of harvest.

Jennifer M. Latzke

June 22, 2022

2 Min Read
Combine in wheat field
COMBINES GO: Combines (like this one in a stock photo from 2021) are rolling in south-central Kansas as the 2022 wheat harvest kicks off its first week. Farmers in the southern part of Kansas are reporting variable wheat yields due to drought effects. But that drought is also credited for higher-than-average protein results.Jennifer M. Latzke

According to reports from Kansas Wheat, the first week of wheat harvest, June 13-17, saw combines just beginning to roll in south-central Kansas.

In Barber County, David Gaddis, general manager of OK Coop Grain Co., Kiowa, Kan., said the first load of the season came into the elevator late Friday, June 10. Yield variability was expected, and the first week of harvest saw yields swinging from 18 to 50 bushels per acre. But that same drought and later rains brought above-average proteins and test weights of 59 to 60 pounds per bushel.

On June 13, Jason Brown, MKC vice president, said loads started trickling into the Danville, Kan., location in Harper County. Yields were expected to average 30 to 40 bushels per acre, with early fields ranging from 16 to 60 bushels per acre. Brown said test weights were lighter, averaging 57 to 58 pounds per bushel, but those were growing as more fields were cut. Protein reflected the drought stress, with samples averaging between 12% and 14%.

In Reno County, Matt Long, MKC senior location manager, said harvest was kicking off five days earlier than usual for the area (June 13). That was the same for Ford County growers, according to Sam Rucker, Alliance Ag & Grain LLC grain merchandiser, in Spearville, Kan. The wheat is dry, but some operations were waiting for harvest crews that were delayed in Oklahoma.

Over in southeastern Kansas, at Beachner Grain Inc., in Independence, location manager Todd Fienen said harvest has started — but with rains through the month of May, many fields are still drying out. He said he expects growers to be cutting through the Fourth of July.

With 2% of the Kansas wheat crop harvested as of June 12, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Weekly Crop Progress and Condition report, time will tell where the average yield, test weight and protein will fall as harvest marches onward. The report noted 31% of the wheat crop was mature as of June 12, ahead of 16% last year and 25% average. Statewide, the agency rated the wheat crop’s condition at 26% good to excellent, 33% fair and 41% poor to very poor.

The 2022 Harvest Report is sponsored by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association. To follow along with harvest updates on Twitter, use #wheatharvest22. Tag Kansas Wheat at @kansaswheat on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to share your harvest story and photos.

Kansas Wheat contributed to this article.

                                                                                                                                       

About the Author(s)

Jennifer M. Latzke

Editor, Kansas Farmer

Through all her travels, Jennifer M. Latzke knows that there is no place like Kansas.

Jennifer grew up on her family’s multigenerational registered Angus seedstock ranch and diversified farm just north of Woodbine, Kan., about 30 minutes south of Junction City on the edge of the Kansas Flint Hills. Rock Springs Ranch State 4-H Center was in her family’s backyard.

While at Kansas State University, Jennifer was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority and a national officer for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She graduated in May 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and a minor in animal science. In August 2000 Jennifer started her 20-year agricultural writing career in Dodge City, Kan., on the far southwest corner of the state.

She’s traveled across the U.S. writing on wheat, sorghum, corn, cotton, dairy and beef stories as well as breaking news and policy at the local, state and national levels. Latzke has traveled across Mexico and South America with the U.S. Wheat Associates and toured Vietnam as a member of KARL Class X. She’s traveled to Argentina as one of 10 IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism. And she was part of a delegation of AAEA: The Ag Communicators Network members invited to Cuba.

Jennifer’s an award-winning writer, columnist, and podcaster, recognized by the Kansas Professional Communicators, Kansas Press Association, the National Federation of Presswomen, Livestock Publications Council, and AAEA. In 2019, Jennifer reached the pinnacle of achievements, earning the title of “Writer of Merit” from AAEA.

Trips and accolades are lovely, but Jennifer says she is happiest on the road talking to farmers and ranchers and gathering stories and photos to share with readers.

“It’s an honor and a great responsibility to be able to tell someone’s story and bring them recognition for their work on the land,” Jennifer says. “But my role is also evolving to help our more urban neighbors understand the issues our Kansas farmers face in bringing the food and fiber to their store shelves.”

She spends her time gardening, crafting, watching K-State football, and cheering on her nephews and niece in their 4-H projects. She can be found on Twitter at @Latzke.

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