Despite Drought, Harvest Good In Parts Of Kansas

By: Phil White Email
By: Phil White Email

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Kansas wheat harvest received a boost from hot, sunny weather over the weekend and as the harvest progresses, farmers in the south-central part of the state are pleased with what they are seeing.

Wheat producers in Sumner County say, considering everything that should be wrong with their crop, they are grateful to be bringing in what looks like it will be a good harvest.

"This is the best two consecutive years that I've personally had," said Sumner County farmer Joe Church.

When KAKE News talked with Church last year, he was harvesting one of the best wheat crops he has grown in nearly 50 years of farming. This year, he is about to finish harvesting another good crop.

"It's been a pleasant surprise because we had about three late freezes on it and we had the drought to start with," Church said.

He feels the way many farmers in south-central Kansas do: Thankful all the right conditions came along at the right time to help produce a good wheat crop.

"One of the key deals to any wheat crop is the way it fills," Church said. "This year, we had it cool. We didn't have the hot snap until the very last and it had already filled."

Yields in Sumner County have surprised many, with some getting close to 70 bushels per acre.

"I've heard reports of 64 to 67 (bushels per acre)," said Chris Kreifels, manager of the Wellington Co-op's Rome branch. "Even the lowest ones have been high 40s. On a normal year, that's perfect."

While farmers like Church are certainly excited to be cutting a good wheat crop, they are very thankful for what they have.

"You don't have to get far out of this county before you get into some poorer wheat and I feel for them," Church said of other Kansas farmers.

Cutting good wheat is exciting for everybody involved with harvest, but perhaps Church's grandson Caleb had the best perspective when asked his favorite part of harvest.

"Hanging out with my grandpa," Caleb said.

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