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Kansas wheat farmers have entered Week 2 of harvest, with continuing variable yields.

Jennifer M. Latzke, Editor

June 29, 2022

3 Min Read
Wheat being harvested
WILDCAT HARVEST: New Kansas State University President Richard Linton prepares to climb the ladder into the combine cab with Kansas Association of Wheat Growers President Justin Knopf on the Knopf family farm ground near Gypsum, Kan., June 17. Linton visited with Knopf about what the university’s research efforts can do to help Kansas farmers. See more in the online photo album at farmprogress.com/wheat/combines-roll-2022-kansas-wheat-harvest.Jennifer M. Latzke

Kansas wheat growers are speeding through the harvest this year, aided by hot and windy weather drying down the crop in a timely fashion.

Kansas Wheat reported that harvest is progressing north through the state. According to the June 19 USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service crop progress report, 27% of the crop has been harvested, ahead of 11% last year and the five-year-average of 18% at this time. USDA NASS rated the crop’s condition at 27% good to excellent, 33% fair and 40% poor to very poor.


In Cowley County, yields on June 21 were running below the five-year average, according to Kevin Kelly, general manager of Two Rivers Co-op in Arkansas City, Kan. Combines are making quick work of fields, according to Kansas Wheat.

Kelly reported that farmers faced a double-edged sword in regard to moisture. On one side, the moisture they did get dried quickly, so there was reduced disease pressure for the area. However, on the other side, farmers who plan to double-crop soybeans or have corn tasseling in fields are eager for rain to return. According to Kelly, the crop mixture in the county has switched in the past few years to more soybeans than wheat. So, this dry weather means the co-op can hold onto the 2022 wheat harvest a bit longer than it normally would before cleaning out the bins to make way for the fall harvest, according to Kansas Wheat’s report.


It wouldn’t be wheat harvest if there wasn’t hail, and unfortunately the farmers in a 10-mile radius of Co-op Grain & Supply in Bazine, Kan., saw about 5,000 acres hit by two hailstorms in June.

General manager Michael Kempke reported to Kansas Wheat that even with those storms zeroing out some fields, harvest has been better than expected for such a dry year.

“Continuous wheat fields are yielding between 25 to 35 bushels per acre, whereas summer fallow fields are yielding around 45 bushels per acre,” Kempke reported to Kansas Wheat. “Test weights are good at 62 pounds per bushel, and protein is averaging 11.3%.”

Kempke also reported that wheat acres were already down in the area, with more producers rotating into sorghum to meet rapidly increasing international demand.

Notes from the field

Other notes from farmers in the wheat field include:

  • This is the year to test the drought tolerance of our public and private wheat varieties: varieties like Hatchett and Zenda from Kansas Wheat Alliance.

  • Matching up with what farmers predicted in April and May, extreme drought in western Kansas really hit yields. Reports of 9 to 25 bushels per acre were found in the area, but anything over 20 bushels would be a stretch.

  • Crawford County is starting to harvest what little soft red winter wheat there is growing in the state. This wheat will be sold to domestic flour mills in the Kansas City area. Early yield reports are 80 to 100 bushels per acre, with average test weights in the 60.8 pound-per-bushel range., according to Brice Elnicki, general manager and CEO of Producers Co-op Association in Girard.

To follow along with Kansas Wheat’s daily reports, visit kansaswheat.org. You can see more in the online photo album at Combines roll for 2022 Kansas wheat harvest.

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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