This is day 6 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. The attached photo was provided by Doug Armknect, Smith County.

USDA NASS released the Kansas Crop Progress report on Monday afternoon which estimated that harvest was 23 percent complete at the end of June 17. This is an increase both in comparison to last year (19 percent) and the five-year average of 11 percent. Winter wheat condition rated 15 percent very poor, 31 poor, 36 fair, 16 good, and 2 excellent. Winter wheat coloring was 94 percent, equal to last year, and ahead of 88 for the five-year average. Mature was 64 percent, ahead of 57 last year.

Jay Armstrong, a farmer from Atchison County, reported that he finished his harvest on Monday. Armstrong’s farm average for his wheat harvest was 61 bushels per acre with a test weight of 59 pounds per bushel.

“We did have small kernels this year which made it difficult to set the combine,” said Armstrong.

Armstrong said that he was especially impressed with the Kansas Wheat Alliance variety Zenda.

“It stood well when we had some pounding rains that actually green snapped corn that was planted around the fields,” said Armstrong.

#Wheatharvest18 doesn’t just stop for farmers when the last swath of a field is cut; marketing decisions are also an important factor weighing on farmers’ minds as their combine header rolls on.

“Our basis here was at five cents per bushel,” reported Armstrong. “I can’t remember when I saw a basis that narrow at harvest.”

Jenny Goering, a farmer in McPherson County, reported that her family operation wrapped up the first leg of their harvest on Saturday. While their ground close to home is harvested, Goering will be heading to western Kansas on Tuesday to start harvesting acreage in Kearny County.

Late season frosts did some damage to Goering’s McPherson County acres.

“Those frosts hurt our crop really badly, especially after it had just barely survived with the drought,” said Goering. “There were a few days in April that just really hurt those yields.”

Those yields ranged 30-32 bushels per acre, a decrease from recent years. Test weights ranged from 60-62 pounds per bushel.

“We’re glad that it’s over, but we’re gearing up to head west,” said Goering. “Now that we’re done here, we would definitely welcome a rain at our Central Kansas farm.”

Craig Bennett, general manager of the Farmers Coop in Abbyville, reported that his location saw their first load of wheat on June 8. At this point, Bennett said, their harvest is nearing 95 percent completion.

“It’s gone pretty fast,” said Bennett. “We had a few sprinkles this afternoon, but that hasn’t slowed them down any.”

Yields for the area are better than expected for many of Bennett’s farmers, but still lower than recent years. Test weights are about 60 pounds per bushel and proteins are running 12 percent and above.

April freezes also affected acres, and yields, near Abbyville this year.

“Late frosts really hurt some of the varieties out there, but some of them held up pretty well, all things considered,” said Bennett.

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.