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Harvest breaks records

High yields, high prices pack elevators and farmers’ wallets

Staff writers

Cooperative Grain & Supply in Hillsboro received a facility record of 3.5 million bushels of wheat from local farmers this harvest, grain manager Dick Tippin said. The previous record was set in 1997.

“That is 300,000 more bushels than our previous high,” he said.

Tippin said wheat prices were 22 cents higher on Monday, netting payments for farmers around $300 per acre with an average of 50 bushels of wheat per acre.

Lloyd Funk of rural Hillsboro thought he might have to spend his wheat money on a new truck, after experiencing a few anxious moments in the field last week.

“It was making an awful banging when I pulled out of the field loaded,” he said. “But I was relieved to find out it was only a screw that came loose and fell into the carburetor.”

Other than that temporary problem, Funk experienced a very good 2012 wheat harvest, like many other farmers.

“It was a wonderful harvest,” he said. “We had good weather, the wheat was excellent quality, and we even had a wonderful rain break.”

Funk said he was very happy with averages of 63 to 64 pounds of wheat per bushel before the rain, and 60 to 61 pounds after moisture fell in early June.

According to Mike Thomas, manager of the Marion elevator, wheat test weights averaged more than the standard 60 pounds per bushel and yields ranged from 38 to 70 bushels per acre at his facility. Yields of 50 to 60 bushels were common, Thomas said.

Despite a large area that was devastated by hail, Agri Producers Inc. also took in more wheat than previous years at their elevators in Durham, Tampa, and Lincolnville.

Perry Gutsch, manager of the Lincolnville elevator, said the quality of the wheat was good, with very few farmers getting docked for low test weights. He said the average yield was from 50 to 55 bushels per acre.

Phil Timpkin, grain manager at Mid-Kansas Cooperative in Peabody, said the early wheat harvest and excellent yields resulted in farmers bringing in 125 percent more bushels of wheat to his facility than ever before.

“This was my 39th harvest,” he said. “We had yields in excess of 65 bushels per acre and got started earlier than I can ever remember before.”

Timpkin said normal harvest intake at his facility was around 400,000 bushels. This year the facility processed 513,000 bushels of wheat.

“Wheat harvest was very good this year,” he said. “We had excellent quality wheat.”

Timpkin said he expected corn and soybean crops to also come in earlier and heavier than past years, if the same conditions continued as prior to wheat harvest.

“The corn was hurt by the hot, dry weather we had recently,” he said. “And we have hot dry winds predicted for this week, but the rain we had was very timely and it really made the beans look good.”

Timpkin said the early wheat harvest allowed many farmers to double-crop in early beans. Many farmers were also able to get their corn acres planted earlier than usual this year.

“Some corn is already tasseled,” he said. “Maybe we will be looking at corn harvest as early as Aug. 1. It depends on the weather.”

Last modified June 21, 2012

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