Wheat Worry


June 21, 2017

The combines are rolling, and the wheat harvest will soon be wrapping up in Kansas. This year is different, however, due to the concerns about quality of the crop.

Wheat is designed to do well in the high plains and is not adapted for a rainy climate. Rainfall came at an undesired time this year for Kansas, causing the wheat crop to suffer.

Paul Evans, a Farmer’s Co-Op grain operating manager, states, “Last year, the weather conditions came around, and they were just perfect for our wheat crop. We had bushels of 80, 90, even some 100s. This year, the weather, the rain has tremendously hurt that.”

Unlike other crops, wheat farming is focused down to a smaller amount of growers, causing each farmer to be expected to yield a high amount of grain. This year the American Farmer’s Co-Op in Columbus is down wheat grain by 50 percent. Farmers are not only concerned over the quantity, but the quality of this year’s crop.

“Last year all the wheat was milling quality, which is used to make bread. This year we have had a few quality concerns. Some of it is not going to make bread quality,” says John Hutto, owner of Hutto Grain and Livestock in Galena, Kansas.

But there is an upside: although the rain has taken a toll on the wheat, other crops will thrive from the moisture.

“We have plenty of water right now for the corn that is out there. It really helped the beans, because some of it was getting pretty dry. This rain here lately has helped us,” continues Evans.

But at the end of every farmer’s day, there is always next season.