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Wheat harvest continues in some places in Kansas

Alice Mannette
Wheat is harvested at Came Farms in Salina.

For a farmer in Salina, wheat harvest continues.

Bill Came, of Came Farms, a fifth-generation Kansas farmer, said he has about three days to go. The welcome rains have slowed him down a bit.

Statewide, there were six suitable days for fieldwork last week. According to the USDA and Kansas State University’s Extension Service, 98% of Kansas winter wheat is mature. This is more than 10% higher than this time last year.

For the week ending July 5, 80% of the wheat was harvested. Last year at this time, a little more than half of the wheat was harvested.

As for condition, Came said his test weight is around 58, with good yields.

“It’s a lot better than I expected,” Came said. “For the most part, the frost didn’t hurt us as much as we thought.”

But last week’s rain in Reno County affected Cameron Peirce’s crop.

“Test weights were very good till it rained, and we lost an average of 5 pounds per bushel,” Peirce said. “Yields have been very positive as well.”

Peirce, along with his two sons and nephew, started the harvest on June 15 and ended on July 4. They were excited to celebrate the harvest on Independence Day.

Came also had family help. Along with his sister Darcy, his two sons and daughter and his three nephews, wheat harvest was successful. Both Came and Peirce are excited to have children continue on with the family farming business.

According to the Kansas Wheat Commission, Steve Clanton, of Minneapolis in Ottawa County, started harvest around June 26 and wrapped up on July 3. Protein levels averaged 13.8%, which was higher than last year's average of 11.5%. Clanton reported that harvest started on time and yields were average.

As for Jewell County, the Kansas Wheat Commission reports that harvest started on July 2. While Barton, Finney, Logon, Rice and Wallace counties started their harvest in late June.

Came said they also took a hit because of the coronavirus.

“Cattle prices dropped drastically,” he said. “We also had grain in storage (when coronavirus hit), and that dropped too.”

Kody and Bill Came of Came Farms in Salina.