The rains plaguing central Kansas Friday, and which are projected to last through at least the weekend, are setting back the start of the 2015 harvest.
John Woodworth with Team Marketing Alliance in Moundridge says that test cuts earlier this week showed a good portion of the wheat had dried out and matured.
“We've got a lot of fields that are right on the cusp of being ready to go,” Woodworth said. “The few test cuts we've had south of McPherson and McPherson County have all indicated that the wheat is dry enough. There's obviously a few small green spots. If we would have missed this, I think we would have been in harvest full tilt mid next week.”
If we do get the projected rain fall over the next several days, which the National Weather Service says could be in excess of four inches, Woodworth says the concern won't be the condition of the wheat so much as that of the fields, themselves.
“This early in the harvest, [farmers] will go ahead and let that dry out before they go in and tear up fields,” Woodworth said. “Once they've started harvest, if they get a big rain event, they're more likely to risk getting in and trying to get through fields if they think they can do it without getting stuck.”
Wheat quality is looking good with the few test cuts that have been held, as the McPherson County area hasn't seen the slide in quality that has been present in some areas of western Kansas.
“What we have seen has been what I would consider a typical central Kansas wheat quality 60-pound plus test weight, ordinary proteins of 10 to 11,” Woodworth said. “Certainly not the proteins we saw last year, which was an anomaly with the high proteins.”