Harvest kicks off in southwest Kansas

The harvest has begun in southwest Kansas.

LAKIN, Kan. (KSNW) – The winter wheat harvest has begun in southwest Kansas. Despite disease and disasters, this season’s winter wheat has been pretty resilient.

For farmer Kyler Millershaski, when it comes to moisture, his crop is coming in anywhere from nine to 13 percent.

“Nine’s a touch dry,” said Millershaski. “I believe the co-op starts docking at about 13 and a half percent moisture, so ideally, we want to have it right at 13.”

His test weights came in a little light — about 58 lbs per bushel compared to the standard 60 — but he’s anticipating a typical harvest of about 35 to 40 bushels per acre.

“You’ve got to remind yourself last year when we had 80 bushel wheat was a phenomenal year,” he said. “Coming off of that, I don’t want to say it’s a letdown, but you’re got to remind yourself this is a good, average crop.”

With the harvest comes outside help.

Kyler said he noticed some custom cutters arrived in southwest Kansas about a week early, after their jobs in Oklahoma were finished. This year, he and his family hired one cutter and two truck drivers, which is typical for them.

“[It’s] kind of a family reunion almost. I think they’ve been cutting with my grandpa for many, many years.”

With all signs pointing to an average harvest yield-wise, Kyler’s biggest concern is possible fires.

“We make sure to clean the machines off every morning. We’ve got fire extinguishers on everything.”

There’s one thing he’s really looking forward to.

“Dinner,” he said with a laugh.

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