Kansas Wheat Harvest Report – Day 4



This is day 4 of the Kansas Wheat Harvest Reports, brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association.

Jacquelyne Leffler, a farmer near Americus in Lyon County, reported that high humidity has inhibited their cutting over the last few days. While Leffler started harvesting on Saturday, she estimated that Leffler, Inc., will wrap up cutting with three ‘big days’ of work.

Yields have ranged drastically for Leffler. Their top field so far has averaged more than 75 bushels per acre, with fungicide and well-timed sprinkles. Well-timed doesn’t mean copious, however, since that field saw only 9.6 inches of rain since it was planted. Other fields have averaged 63, 52 and 36 bushels per acre which supports that well-timed precipitation can make a world of difference.

Test weights have ranged from 61 to 62 pounds per bushel. Proteins for the Lefflers are running about 12 percent, a bump from recent years.

“We have had some local elevators offer protein premiums,” said Leffler. “We are trying to capitalize on those markets and their demands as much as we can. Having that incentive is a game changer.”

Justin Knopf, a Gypsum farmer, reported an overall low average yield with a range between the low 30s to mid 40 bushels per acre. Knopf said that he was disheartened at the lack of rain this year, but estimated that his fields were about eight inches below average rainfall.

“Because of that, combined with the exceptional heat that we received during grainfill, we knew that there would be fewer bushels,” said Knopf. “Although, the wheat performing as well as it has during this tough of a year is a real testament to wheat breeders, agronomists and the technologies we have.”

Proteins in Knopf’s area will be ‘exceptional,’ reported Knopf. He said that the average range for many of his fields has been 14-15 percent. While the lack of rain has put a damper on this year’s harvest for the Knopfs, Justin remains hopeful for the time spent in the fields.

“Even though this is a hectic time of year, we’re just out here trying to enjoy our time as a family,” said Knopf. “Despite the heat, we love the opportunity that we have to work together day in and day out to provide this staple food crop for the world.”

The 2018 Harvest Report is brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association. To follow along with harvest updates on Twitter, use #wheatharvest18.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.