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Weekend rains slow wheat harvest

Staff writer

Weekend rains totaling three-quarters of an inch to more than two inches have slowed this year’s wheat harvest, which began last week in all parts of the county.

Marion and areas south of town had an additional half-inch overnight Sunday.

The pace of the harvest increased significantly Friday. The ground was dry, and the wheat was ripe and ready to cut. By evening, the Hillsboro elevator had taken in 85,000 bushels; Marion, 72,000; Lehigh, 75,000; Peabody, 40,000, and Lincolnville, 30,000.

Test weights generally were at a full 60 pounds per bushel or more, and moisture was at 11 or 13 percent by Friday afternoon. Grain that tests at 15 percent moisture is considered too wet to harvest.

Temperatures are forecast to be near the century mark all week, allowing fields to dry out and combines to get rolling again.

In areas that had the least rain, farmers were combining Monday afternoon. In other areas, they were fighting mud. According to reports from elevator managers, the weekend rain did not affect the quality of the grain.

The cash price of wheat at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning at Cooperative Grain and Supply was averaging $5.55. At Agri Producers, it was $5.68, down from a recent high June 1 of $6.78.

Last modified June 25, 2009

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