As wheat harvest nears, farmers are expecting lower numbers in Kansas

Capitol Bureau

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas farmers are prepping their trucks and combines in anticipation for this year’s wheat harvest.

State agriculture officials said wheat farmers, beginning in south central Kansas are about a week away from harvesting their crop.

Windy weather and 90 degree temperatures are currently drying out the wheat before it can be cut.

Officials are predicting that the wheat harvest will bring in seven percent less than projected, and it will be 54 million bushels less than last year, which is a 16 percent decline.

“There were fewer planted acres, down about 100 thousand acres planted in Kansas, to 6.8 million acres, and the other thing is we had some adverse weather conditions, said Aaron Harries, vice president of research and operations at Kansas Wheat.

He said some parts of the state have seen severe drought or late freezes that have caused harm to plants.

The coronavirus pandemic is also impacting farmers. It has created less demand for wheat, making the price go down.

“The decrease in flour consumption through school services and restaurants, so while home consumption of wheat did go up, the rest of the industry went down, so it’s been a struggle for farmers right now, not just for wheat but for all commodities, with those impacts from COVID,” Harries said.

It’s expected that the wheat harvest will be nearly complete for all of the state by mid-July.

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