By Pilar Martin
HARVEY COUNTY – Despite heavy rains and some slumping prices, this year’s wheat harvest around the area is looking to be significantly better this year than last.
“On April 11, we were sweating. The rain in May saved us,” said Mark Jacob, manager of the Sedgwick branch of Andale Farmers Cooperative.
Paul Works was at the Sedgwick facility on Friday to check how much wheat his land yielded. Works owns 62 acres of dry land wheat about a half mile south of the cemetery in Sedgwick, and is farmed by Mike McGinn. Works’ acreage brought in 37 bushels per acre.
“Last year it was only 17 bushels,” Works said. “This is a lot better.”
As predicted, the wheat was ready before combines could get into the fields. Cutting began on June 10, but was halted the next day when some areas got up to six inches of rain. Cutting began in earnest around June 19, and is 65-75 percent completed.
Jack Queen, president of the Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company in Halstead, said test weights were between 58-61 pounds. His elevators are seeing yields of 30-80 bushels per acre for dry land wheat, with irrigated coming in anywhere from 60-100 bushels per acre. “The harvest is much better than last year,” Queen said. “Overall we will likely finish a little over average.”