The state of Kansas is usually an ideal place to produce wheat with a temperate area that usually sees 10 to 30 inches of rainfall annually, according to information from the Kansas Farm Bureau.
However, the National Weather Service reported 8 to 15 inches of rainfall last month alone for May 2015.
With the rainy and stormy weather that Southeast Kansas has experienced this spring/early summer, the harvesting of wheat has become irksome for local co-ops in June, when wheat becomes the ripest.
Monte Hicks, the general manager for Producers Cooperative Association, said the wheat harvest has gone very slowly since they started on the week of June 8.
“They cut about five days that week,” Hicks said. “… Test weights were high, Vomitoxin is a problem this year and then we had a week of rain. They was able to cut a little last week for a few days (and) test weights had gone down considerably. Some instances as much as six pounds, but everything was down at least four pounds from the first go-around and then it rained again.”
Hicks said because of the rain, Vomitoxin has become a problem for harvesters, which lowers the wheat’s quality. For example, if 2.1 to 3.0 parts per million (ppm) of Vomitoxin is detected, there will be a discount factor of 0.247. For 3.1 to 4.0 ppm, the discount factor is 0.336, for 4.1-5.0 ppm, its 0.424 and 5.1 to 10.0 ppm, its 0.450.
“Quality keeps going down, total damage goes up,” Hicks said. “… A lot of it running from 3 to 4 (ppm), some of the size over 6, which is parts per million, so all in all, the quality gets worse every day, every time it rains.”
Hicks said at this point, their harvesting is about 60 percent completed, with a hopeful end date around July 5.
“This is probably the most strung out since I’ve been here and this is my fifth year,” Hicks said. “… They’ve had (tough harvests) in years past, it’s something that just happens in this country, but this is probably the longest, wet spell that I’ve seen since I’ve been down here in 11 years in this country.”
But for Machelle Shouse, the general manager for the Farmer’s Cooperative Association in Columbus, she said they are currently about 75 percent completed and will be about 90 percent completed by the end of this weekend.
“I’m expecting another 300,000 bushel to come in. I think we’ll end up about 4 million, 5 million when it’s all said and done, which is a little more than we got last year, but there’s been some better yields in different places than Cherokee County,” Shouse said. “… I might be shooting a little high, but it’s in that area.”
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/us-rainy-season-has-slowed-the-wheat-harvest)