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Phenomenal Harvest underway in Greeley County

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The dry weather and warm temperatures during the past week enabled farmers to continue cutting late into the evening.

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The dry weather and warm temperatures during the past week enabled farmers to continue cutting late into the evening.

“It’s phenomenal out here. It’s an unbelievable crop,” were the general comments from farmers about the wheat crop in Greeley County. “We were in the right place, at the right time.” The downside is that there was some hail, some fields that didn’t get sprayed, and some just didn’t produce as well. “Some farmers will average in the 80s, but the county average will probably be in the 70s,” was one farmer’s comment. Most estimates are that this year’s crop will be a record harvest or Greeley County. Some thought that their yields in 2017 were close and others thought that the 1999 harvest after the blizzard in 1998 was close. Alan Schlegel, agronomist at the Southwest Research Extension Center, remarked on Monday morning, “We finished cutting wheat on Friday afternoon. It’s just an amazing harvest. We had yields of over 100 on several studies. In some of our studies over a 20-year period, we have never had any yields that are even close. I think that overall we will average in the 80s.” Schlegel said that the corn and milo were looking good, but they would need some rain.” Dirk Schneider at CHS, said on Monday, “We are still going strong. It’s going to be a while before we finish. I don’t get out to the fields, but it looks like a week to 10 days. “This has got to be the best harvest we have ever had. Nothing comes close to this year. At some point we will have to go to the ground to handle the grain, but we are ready to do that.” Farmers report that they have had some years with fields that had yields like this year, but never the whole farm with these types of yields. “The prices could be better, but this year will help to heal things up.” There have been wide swings in the reported yields from in the 60s to over 100. One farmer thought that there was a difference in the fields that were spayed for rust. Farmers report that getting trucks to the elevator was slowing everything down. “No one was equipped to handle this wheat crop. Plus the trucks are filling up twice as fast as normal in the field.” David Schneider remarked, “It’s too bad that my dad isn’t around to see these yields. He saw yields go from the teens to the 40s, but now we have gone to the 80s.” The Tribune weather station reported 0.70 inches of rain at the Tuesday morning, July 9 reading. The station has now received 1.34 inches of rain for the fist 15 days of July compared to an average for the total month of 2.85 inches. For the year-to- date the station has received 11.99 inches of precipitation, which is 1.68 inches above the normal of 10.38 inches. The National Weather service Precipitation maps showed most of the western parts of Greeley County with .25 – .50 inches with some sections in the east with .50 – 1.0 inches. The high temperatures rose from a high of 85º on Monday July 8, to 91º on Tuesday, July 10. The high temperatures were in the mid to high 90s for the past four days. The forecast for the next week to 10 days is generally dry, so the harvest hopefully will be able to finish in Greeley County. The average soil temperatures in Greeley County for the past week were 76º on July 9, 77º on July 10, 78º on July 11, 79º on July 12, 81º on July 13, and 14, and 80º on July 15. According to the National Agriculture Statistics Service, as of July 14 in the West Central District of Kansas 97% of the wheat is mature, and 77% is harvested; and 9% of the corn is silking.
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