Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The Kansas wheat harvest is almost always a race against time. This year's harvest could go down as one of the earliest ever.
Local farmers say the crop is coming in about two weeks early. Harvester Clinton Haman says this year's unusual weather pushed the growing season into overdrive.
"Yeah it's early, but it's been fairly dry and it's been an early spring all over," said Haman.
Haman is part of a custom cutting crew from North Dakota. No sooner did the crew pull into Kiowa than they started harvesting along the state border. Haman says they don't usually start harvesting that area until the first week in June.
OK Coop Grain Co. manager Steve Inslee says farmers have been sampling the moisture content of their wheat the past three days. If it's too moist, they wait another day for the grain to dry before proceeding with the harvest. Elevator operators want the moisture content under 14 percent if possible.
"They're looking for dry wheat. Probably on Thursday they'll cut lose on all of it. It's getting closer all the time," said Inslee.
Inslee says early test weights are encouraging and he expects those to improve as farmers move into their best fields.