With heavy rains and flooding this spring the harvest has had a bit of a late start, but forecasts seem to be looking up.


With heavy rains and flooding this spring the harvest has had a bit of a late start, but forecasts seem to be looking up.

The last few days of hot temperatures and blue skies have allowed fields to dry out enough for the harvest in Butler County to begin.

According to The Kansas Wheat Commission and the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, the Kansas wheat crop for the past two years has been below-average.

Debbie Fleming, owner of Fleming Feed and Grain said that the wheat crop this year is doing a lot better than prior years.

The Webster family of Leon were the first customers to weigh their grain this year at Fleming Feed and Grain.

“I’m just so glad to have a good wheat crop this year,” said Debbie Fleming.

Recent severe weather and hail in some parts of the state has made for some  obstacles.

Many farmers have had to deal with flooding and fungus this season.

Earlier this week the Kansas Department of Agriculture announced that a prior confinement of wheat has been lifted on three elevators in south central Kansas.

The confinement was caused by concern about fungicide levels from wheat samples harvested from fields with fungicide levels elevated.

The levels are now within safe limits.

Another issue farmers have had to tackle is head scab, rain before and after flowering in some wheat this year led to head scab in parts of Kansas, according to K-State Research and Extension; it is showing up in wheat fields in eastern and central Kansas.

Head scab can be diagnosed by a visible brown discoloration of the central stem of the wheat head, and kernels may have a white powdery residue.

Diseased areas may also have a small pink mass, which is produced by the fungus.

Wet weather when the crop began to flower has caused the issue.

There is no prevention methods available and no cure for head scab at this stage of the season.

Beyond dealing with severe weather and fungus the wheat crop is looking more positive than it has in many years.

After several years of disappointments, the precipitation, although a bit excessive at times, has really aided in producing a larger harvest.