• Last modified 820 days ago (July 2, 2020)


Harvest slightly below average

Staff writer

Test weights for this year’s wheat crop were not was hoped, but not as bad as they could have been.

This year that counts as good news, said Andy Kelsey, an agronomist with Cooperative Grain and Supply.

“It ended like most years, one rain away from a good crop — but not bad,” he said.

Extremes in temperatures during the growing season were reflected in the quality of the crop, Marion co-op manager John Ottensmeier said.

“We had some cooler weather come through early last spring that could have affected a lot of the test weights,” he said. “The heat toward the end dried it up.”

Test weights in Marion ranged from 63 to 50 pounds.

Dick Tippin, marketing specialist for Cooperative Grain and Supply in Hillsboro, said that sounded about right – the average there was 58.

Some farmers who finished cutting before the rains were happy with the crop.

“We’re done,” Marion farmer Eugene Just laughed Monday evening, “We finished up already last week. We were seeing good test weights, 62 and 63.”

Prices are giving are farmers another reason not to be overly enthusiastic, said Sarah Morey, with Kansas Farm Services Agency in Marion.

“I saw a cash price of $4,03 — not the best, but not as bad as was being speculated,” she said.

A jump in the market pushed the price to $4.23 a bushel, made Tuesday a good sell day Ottensmeier said.

But some farmers had hopes of maybe $5 a bushel, not $4.15 Tippin said.

“Right now they are losing money,” he said. “They need at least $4.30 or higher to break even. Ot depends on the producer and what kinds of expenses he’s got.”

Prices are the main complaint of producers who have seen their shot at earning decent money dashed again — and again, Kelsey said.

“They just seem to stay low to be honest,” he said. “But we’ve had worse before. I think everyone is just happy with whatever push up we can get.”

Both Just and DeForest sold half their grain this year and then stored the other half in the hope markets will improve.

“We’ll just wait and see,” DeForest said.

Last modified July 2, 2020