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.
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.
Farmers are hauling bountiful winter wheat crops into elevators in central Kansas, though the drought has decimated yields in the western part of the state.
Yields in some central Kansas fields are reaching 100 bushels an acre. The Mid-Kansas Co-op in Moundridge says its elevators from Sedgwick County to north of Abilene have been taking in 10 percent more than expected and 50 percent more than their average.
A Kansas farmer has sued seed giant Monsanto over the discovery of genetically engineered experimental wheat.
Elkhart wheat grower Ernest Barnes filed the suit.
It alleges that when people heard about the unapproved wheat in an Oregon field last week, the news drove down wheat futures prices and caused a backlash from some international markets, which suspended certain imports.
The Agriculture Department has forecast U.S. farmers will harvest a far smaller winter wheat crop this season than a year ago, particularly for the hard red varieties used to bake bread.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Friday that winter wheat production is forecast to be down 10 percent to 1.49 billion bushels amid fewer acres and poorer yields. Production of hard red winter wheat production is down by 23 percent nationwide to 768 million bushels.