Hail damage adds to struggle with wheat crop

Millershaski's recently-harvested wheat

LAKIN, Kan. (KSNW) – Just yesterday Kyler Millershaski started harvesting his wheat field and was expecting a pretty standard yield of about 35 to 40 bushels per acre, but after last night’s hail storm, it’s a different story.

“It looks like you just went out and mowed the field,” said Millershaski. “We went from 40 bushels per acre, and now I don’t know if we’re going to be able to get five out of it.”

Millershaski said with the cost of harvesting alone, not counting replanting, he won’t even break even with that low of a yield.

“If it’s not going to make about seven, eight bushels an acre this year, that’s about our cutoff point to where it’s not even worth it to drive our combines over it,” he added. “You want to produce food, but at the same time, it’s a business. You’ve got to be able to do it again next year.”

He did say the good thing is that the hail did bring some moisture, which will help with the fall crop. However, if it would have rained a bit before it started to hail, his wheat would have stood a better chance.

“It’s kind of like if you have some spaghetti, and you don’t cook it, you can just take it and break it right in half,” explained Millershaski. “Now if you put it in some water and it softens it up, you can bend it all over the place, and it’s not going to break.”

Fortunately many of his fields weren’t hit too bad and will still likely produce about 30 to 35 bushels per acre, which is pretty good considering everything that has happened this year.

“Fires, the late snow storm, hail, all the storms.” I’m waiting for a meteor shower or an earthquake. I mean, that’d just be the icing on the cake at this moment,” added Millershaski. “It’s just, you’ve almost got to laugh at it.”