Purchase photos

Slow going in Zurich fields





ZURICH -- It's a waiting game when wheat harvest rolls around.

While trucks have been busily delivering wheat to the McCracken branch of Hays-based Midland Marketing, often stacked up in a row to weigh-in or weigh-out, it's been closer to slow-to-steady at Zurich.

"Our custom cutters aren't here," Zurich branch coordinator Dale Niblock said Wednesday.

Once they arrive, it's going to make a big difference, pushing nearly 100,000 bushels of grain through the elevator rather than the just-starting total of 60,000 bushels.

Quality of the crop's been strong, he said, with a few loads falling to 59 pounds per bushel, slightly below the test weight benchmark. Some wheat, however, has weighed in at anywhere from 60 to 62 pounds per bushel.

As he was detailing the crop, McClelland Farms, Palco, delivered a truckload weighing 61.2 bushels per acre with a well-under the desired moisture level of 12 percent.

Farmer Mike McClelland said later yields had been strong, with yields ranging from 35 to 40 bushels per acre.

"I haven't heard anything on yields yet," Niblock said of wheat coming in to the elevator.

Cutting in the Zurich area started a week ago, but it's been smaller fields.

He expects all of that to change when the custom cutters arrive.

Plus, Niblock said, some of the wheat needs a couple more days to mature.

"Some of the wheat's not ready," he said. "Some of the draws are green."

But, the Zurich area's received several light showers during the past few days.