Kansas Wheat Harvest Far From Over Despite Bulging Elevators

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Kansas wheat harvest is inching closer and closer to the Nebraska border, but don’t think for a moment that means the job in South-central Kansas is complete.

Farmers closer to Wichita are still busy harvesting. It’s forcing some grain elevators to do a juggling act to make room.

Truckers are trying to haul grain out of country elevators like this faster than local farmers are bringing in. Otherwise, these elevators will overflow.

Being busy is a bit of an understatement from Garden Plain Farmers Co-op Branch Manager Brett Dreiling as he watches truck coming and going from his office

Dreiling says, "We went from about 280-thousand bushels of room to about 140."

The capacity there was cut in half in a hurry. That’s when, Dreiling says, he rallied the troops and called in extra semi-truckers to move what appeared to be a bin buster of a local harvest.

"We're getting tight," says Dreiling.

It means more business for guys like Cecil Coffman, a trucker from Norton.

There are eleven elevators in this farmer’s co-op, managed from Cheney. Some of the co-op’s smaller branches were nearing capacity when recent rains halted the harvest. That have elevator managers just enough time to get grain shipped to mill or the larger terminal elevators before harvest resumed.

Elevators don’t want to have to tell farmers there’s no room in the bins at a time when area farmers are getting such high yields – yields missed out on last year.

It’s a balancing act at harvest. Elevators want to be full, but full at the end of harvest, not while harvest is underway.

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