By GAIL PARSONS
After only one day of cutting, wheat harvest came to a screeching halt when nearly two inches of rain fell in parts of Dickinson County during the early morning hours on Tuesday.
Larry Brake, manager of the Mid Kansas Coop said that while some farmers began cutting over the weekend, harvest really started in earnest on Monday.
“Yields were good. We were getting reports of mid-60s to mid-70s on the test weights, and some even higher,” he said.
There is the anticipation that test weights will drop some after the rain, which ranged anywhere from .05 to 1.90 across the county, but Brake said he doesn’t expect huge decreases.
Fortunately for Dickinson County farmers hail was kept to a minimum. He said he has only heard of a few reports of hail damage.
One farmer who is reporting some hail damage is Jeff Bathurst, who has about 1,500 acres in the northern part of the county. He said the hail wasn’t large in diameter, but what it lacked in size it made up for in quantity.
“There are some strips that really got mowed down hard,” he said.
He’s fortunate as reports from the National Weather Service indicated golf ball size hail in Solomon.
He said he planned on getting back to work as early as Tuesday night because there were some areas that didn’t get too much rain and with the daytime warm weather and high winds, conditions would be fine to get back out there.
Steve Hoover didn’t anticipate getting back to cutting in his fields just north of Abilene until tonight (Wednesday). The little bit of hail that hit his wheat wasn’t enough to do damage, but the soaking rains slowed down what he expects to be one of the top five yields he’s had since he started farming in 1969.
“But you can’t count it until it’s in the bin,” he said.
Brake agrees that Hoover’s prediction could be on target, as long as the weather holds out.
“This will be an awfully good year if we can get it in,” he said.
Getting it in without further delay may be possible as high temperatures for the next several days are expected in the high 90s and triple digits with only a 20 percent chance of rain on Thursday and 30 percent Thursday night.