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Heavy rainfall impacting wheat harvest

Sheri Baty/Knox County News-Courier This photo taken between Knox City and Munday of a combine attempting to harvest wheat on one of the drier days.

Sheri Baty/Knox County News-Courier
This photo taken between Knox City and Munday of a combine attempting to harvest wheat on one of the drier days.

Rainfall of 8.26 inches in May and the first week of June is resulting in continuing delays in the wheat harvest. An increase of four inches more rain has been received this year compared to last year for the same time, according to Brandon Carr at the USDA-NCRS (United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service).

Fields are wet, while some areas still have standing water. The moisture content of the grain is high and needs several hot days to dry enough to be acceptable. The acceptable moisture content is 13.5% at the elevators. A custom harvest crew in Munday cut ninety acres on May 30, and the moisture content was at 14.4%. Late last week the moisture content was so high it was immeasurable on standard testing equipment, but with warm weather last weekend, this crew was back in the field. More rain last Sunday night idled the crews again on Monday.

Every day it rains at this point, potential losses increase for local farmers. Dry land wheat here averages twenty-five to thirty-five bushels per acre, but with continued rain, yields and quality may go down.

For more on this story, read The Knox County News-Courier this week, or subscribe to the pdf version online. ©Copyright 2021 The Knox County News-Courier.

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