TOPEKA (KSNT) – Even the Kansas wheat crop isn’t immune to inflation and high gas prices. The scorching summer heat isn’t helping things either.

The Kansas Wheat Commission reported the wheat crop for this year is below average. A wet fall limited planting near Shawnee County while a dry winter and early spring destroyed some of what was planted in other parts of the state. This caused lower yields and higher protein levels across the board.

Wheat experts in Southwestern Kansas have been hit the hardest by drought while the Northeastern corner of the state has fared a little better. Unfavorable weather, supply chain disruptions and high gas costs have been putting pressure on Kansas farmers.

“The price of diesel certainly increased the cost of harvesting for this year’s crop, but then also getting the crop into the elevator and to market,” said Justin Gilpin, CEO of Kansas Wheat Commission. “We’re dealing with three to four times the cost of getting this crop to market.”

“Droughts in some areas and too much rain in other areas, and here comes a hailstorm about time you’re ready to harvest — it’s been challenging for them,” said Leroy Russell, Kansas State Agriculture Agent – Shawnee County Extension. “Our farmers are trying their best to make sure we keep food on the table for everybody and have a supply.”

We’re about 80% of the way through this year’s harvest but all eyes are on 2023. Farmers have had difficulty finding fertilizer and other products needed for fall planting. Some of the struggles from this year could linger into the next year’s harvest.