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Kansas wheat crop continues to suffer

LAKIN, Kansas - The latest wheat report is in and with just about a month until harvest time, over half of the crop is in 'poor condition'.

"The wheat crop has been slowly deteriorating since March," said Agriculture Expert John Jenkinson.  "Now, we've seen above average temperatures and very low humidity and it's putting the final nail in the coffin of this wheat crop."

Normally Kansas farmers abandon about 10 percent of their wheat crops each year, this year they're expected to give up on about 25 percent.

On a good year wheat farmer Gary Millershaski can get 35 bushels an acre or more.  This year he's hoping for five.

"I was surprised that it shot up as many heads as it did," he said.  "I'm going to have just enough wheat that I'm going to cut everything."

If farmers like Millershaski can't get enough from harvesting their crop to make it cost effective, they'll claim it on insurance.

A poor wheat crop means smaller profits for the farmers, but it also means each one of the plants is producing fewer kernels.  So, when it's time to plant next season's wheat crop later this year the seeds will be in short supply.

"I would encourage anybody who doesn't have their seed wheat supplies [to place an order]," Millershaski said.

Even though rain at this point wouldn't be enough to revive this year's crop, farmers need it soon to re-hydrate the dry soil.

"Farmers are really backed into a corner," Jenkinson said, "If we don't get good rains this summer, next year's wheat crop is already in jeopardy."

 

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