Sunday, May 27, 2012
The slightest change in weather can cause big headaches for farmers but this year it looks like Mother Nature has been very kind to Kansas wheat farmers.
The harvest began about two weeks early due to a mild winter and a dry spring. This Memorial Day weekend, farmers across the state have been very busy out in the fields.
In Sumner County, the wheat harvest has really only been in full swing a few days, but farmers say that 2012 is already shaping up to be a better and much more profitable harvest.
In his 47 years harvesting wheat in Sumner County, Joe Church has developed a reputation for being the first farmer to start cutting.
“You've got your money tied up for nine months. I don't have to go to the local casino up here because I have my money on the line for nine months and still don't know whether I’ve shot craps or not,” Church said.
This year, it looks like the farmer's gamble is paying off. He tells us he's pulling in twice as much wheat as he did last year.
“I raised a lot of 30 bushel of wheat last year because of the drought. The wheat that we're cutting in right now is probably cutting about 60 bushel,” Church said.
Rome Co-op manager Chris Kreifels says a good year, they'll see about 50 bushels of wheat per acre. He says his year could be a better than average harvest.
“We've had some reports of 75 bushels per acre... there's more wheat in the field than there was last year. The last two years have been mediocre crops at best,” Kreifels said.
Kreifels says everyone in the grain industry will most likely see larger profits this year, and what's good for the producer, is good for the consumer.
'The more wheat we have coming in, the better chance you have for flour for your bread and pasta and that kind of thing. If the wheat's not there, you're going to pay higher prices for that,” Kreifels said.