Kansas Farmers in panic as harvest dies due to wet weather
TOPEKA – November 19, 2018
Kansas farmers are in a true panic as they stand to lose a significant part of this year’s harvest due to wet weather this upcoming winter season, as it has presented challenges for those getting soybeans and milo out of the fields and winter wheat in the ground. As the state is considered one of the most important agricultural centers of the country, this could also affect the economy of all neighboring states as well.
“I would have planted a little bit of wheat this year, but don’t think I’m going to get any in,” said Raylen Phelon, a fifth-generation farmer. In fact, Phelon was in Topeka at a meeting at the Kansas Wheat Commission, and his son texted him that he was finally back in the fields cutting beans, yet it required much effort and time.
“He said it’s muddy and sticky, but he’s able to go,” Phelon said, adding that he typically has soybeans harvested by Halloween.
Brad Parker, spokesman for the Kansas Soybean Commission, admitted there is a significant problem in Kansas with the harvest, as just 74% of it has been completed this year, whilst the five-year average for this time of the year is close to 90%. Specialists, such as Marsha Boswell, spokeswoman for the Kansas Wheat Commission, added that the challenge, though, is that farmers who couldn’t get their soybeans harvested face issues with their wheat planting.
“There are certain deadlines that farmers have to have their wheat in by to qualify for crop insurance and keep that coverage,” she said. “We are essentially past all those deadlines for Kansas.
“If they haven’t gotten their wheat planted at this point, it’s likely that they are not going to plant it.”
Based on that likelihood, Boswell said, the Wheat Commission expects to see fewer acres planted.
The wet weather isn’t the only reason for a bad harvest, as Kansas State University researchers have also issued a report about purple seed stain, or a blight caused by a fungus that is affecting crops in the state.
“Large areas of the soybean belt have poor quality soybeans that are being either severely discounted or outright refused at the elevator,” Kansas State’s Department of Agronomy stated in their report. “In Kansas, there are confirmed reports of loads being rejected at local elevators and large terminals due to high levels of purple seed stain.”
Between trade tariffs affecting commodity prices and the wet weather, it has been a tough year for some Kansas farmers.