Farmers across the Midwest are planting less wheat. Harvest Public Media’s Jeremy Bernfeld explains why.

Worries about selling their wheat on the global market pushed U-S farmers to plant millions of fewer acres of wheat over the last two years. That’s according to a new government report.

Dan O’Brien, an economist at Kansas State University, says that has a lot to do with big supplies and a strong dollar.

Report: KS Corn Harvest Ahead Of Schedule

Sep 29, 2015
Jeff Engel, flickr Creative Commons

The corn harvest in Kansas is ahead of schedule, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Across Kansas, 42 percent of corn has already been harvested—way ahead of the 34 percent posted this time last year. The corn is currently rated at 3 percent very poor, 9 poor, 31 fair, 47 good, and 10 excellent.

But estimates released this month say total yields will about two percent less than last year.


Agriculture experts are warning farmers about a disease that could affect winter wheat planting in Kansas.

As Kansas winter wheat farmers begin to plant seeds this fall, a fungal disease called flag smut could be waiting to infect their future crops.

It was first detected in Rooks County in north-central Kansas back in May. The disease doesn’t affect plant quality, but can decrease yields.

Agrilife Today, flickr Creative Commons

The latest government update shows the 2015 winter wheat harvest is nearing completion in some parts of Kansas, and making good progress everywhere else.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that harvest statewide was 79 percent finished. That is ahead of the 66 percent cut at this time last year, but still behind the 83 percent average for this date.


Kansas weather conditions have been ideal this year for the development of wheat disease, including one that hasn’t been detected in Kansas since the 1930s.

Agricultural officials are contacting Kansas farmers with fields infected with flag smut disease and asking them to delay harvest and clean their equipment in an effort to contain its spread.

Beth Gaines with the Kansas Department of Agriculture says the disease has been detected at low infestation levels in 39 fields in central and western Kansas.

AgriLife Today, flickr Creative Commons

The return of mostly dry, hot weather this weekend has jump started the stalled winter wheat harvest.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that 8 percent had been harvested as of Sunday. Normally by this late in the season, about 33 percent of the wheat is in the bin. Last year at this time 21 percent had already been cut.

About 51 percent of the wheat in Kansas is now mature.

Wheat harvest is now in full swing across most of Kansas, with the possible exception of northwest Kansas and the northern tier counties.

AgriLife Today (agrilifetoday) / Flickr.

Two Kansas State University researchers are developing a type of wheat that will tolerate hotter temperatures as the grain is developing.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that problem is kernels start to shrivel if temperatures are too high--the wheat grains begin to fill out. That happens in May and June in Kansas.

The transgenic wheat contains genetic material into which DNA from an unrelated organism has been artificially introduced.

In this case, the researchers added genetic material from rice to wheat.

A new National Agricultural Statistics Service report has ranked the popularity of winter wheat varieties in Kansas.

The report labels "Everest" to be the leading wheat variety seeded in Kansas. Developed by Kansas State University, Everest accounts for over 14 percent of the planted acres for 2014.

A wheat variety called TAM 111 is the second most popular variety with 11.6 percent of the acreage. It is the leading variety planted in western Kansas.

In third place was the variety called T 158, with 5 percent of the planted acreage.

Kansas Wheat Is 89 Percent Harvested

Jul 9, 2013

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that Kansas farmers have now harvested 87 percent of their winter wheat crop. By this date last year, the entire crop had been cut, but harvest activity is nearing the seasonal average of 89 percent.

Ninety-nine percent of the state's winter wheat is ripe. Harvest in central Kansas is 99 percent finished, while harvest in northwest Kansas is just 45 percent completed. While the dry conditions across most of the state helped harvest pick up speed, some crops are suffering in arid western Kansas.

Another Kansas Farmer Sues Monsanto

Jul 8, 2013

Another Kansas farmer has filed suit against seed giant Monsanto over the discovery of an isolated field of genetically engineered wheat in Oregon.

Harvey County wheat grower Bill Budde sued Monsanto Friday in a lawsuit seeking class-action status. It's at least the third such lawsuit filed in federal court in Kansas against the St. Louis-based company since the field was discovered in May. Similar lawsuits have also been filed in Idaho and Washington state.