Day 8, Kansas Wheat Harvest Report


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By Julia Debes – Kansas Wheat

This is day 8 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.

Scattered showers moved through Kansas on Tuesday night, pushing pause on the Kansas wheat harvest. Severe weather hit the eastern two-thirds of the state with gusty winds and a small, confirmed tornado in Ellsworth. Further west, rain totals didn’t amount to much, but the lower temperatures, high humidity and overcast conditions meant harvest was still under rain delay for many producers on Wednesday.

Ahead of the rain on Tuesday, Kansas Wheat staff stopped by the harvest field in Hamilton County. Jason Ochs, who farms near Syracuse, was cutting a field of hard white wheat that was coming in dry at nine percent moisture with a good test weight of 61.5 pounds per bushel.

Area yields are being reported at nine to 25 bushels per acre, but anything over 20 bushels per acre would be a stretch for this part of Kansas due to the extreme drought throughout the growing season.

On the county line between Stafford and Reno counties, farmer Randy Fritzemeier was about halfway through wheat harvest before a quarter inch of rain shut down cutting on Tuesday night.

Yields are disappointing in the low 30s bushels per acre, but the wheat is some of the best quality he has cut with test weights at 61 to 64 pounds per bushel. Despite lower-than-average yields, Fritzemeier was surprised at how well the crop turned out. He had to replant fields due to significant rainfall during planting, but then the weather turned so dry that the windstorm on December 15 filled the house with dirt. This spring brought around 1.5 inches of rain during heading and another 4.5 inches while kernels were filling, helping finish off the crop.

He had planned for a custom-cutting crew to help him finish off the wheat harvest, but with delays from the crew, Fritzemeier said he’ll keep cutting until they arrive.

Farmers expect to climb back into the combine cab as soon as field conditions allow, likely following triple-digit temperatures on Thursday and Friday.

The 2022 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 #wheatharvest22. Tag us at @kansaswheat on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to share your harvest story and photos.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
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 2021 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.

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