Area's grain sees weather's mark. By Amy Bickel - The Hutchinson News - The work of the office was miles away as Stan Hill maneuvered a combine across a field of yellow corn. Each season, he leaves his job as a Hutchinson attorney, typically heading to the fields about noon, helping Reno County farmer Mark Elliott bring in the bounty. "This is cheaper than therapy, isn't it?" Hill says with a chuckle, noting that his father was a longtime farmer around the Haven area. Hill is among thousands of Kansans working amid the state's largest crop season. All told, farmers should harvest nearly 900 million bushels of soybeans, corn and milo over the next few months, along with other crops like sunflowers, canola and cotton. Most of the corn has been harvested in Reno County, with farmers working on bringing in soybeans. But this year's harvest is a mixed bag. Drought hurt some fields, along with too much rain and hail. Hill said his family's farmland will be about average, noting that the more than 20 inches that fell in a two-week span from late July to mid-August was "a little too much water." Jessie Cable, an employee at Farmers Cooperative Elevator Co. at Pretty Prairie, said a storm that hit Pretty Prairie July 23 also left hail on some of the crops. "We didn't as get much this year," she said of the corn crop, adding that it was either damaged by "bad weather or hail." The damage list included 14 irrigation center-pivots located close to town that were flipped over from the winds, she said. Still, Cable said, fall harvest is better than last year, when drought hurt yields. Moreover, rain has helped the milo. Casey Kersten, location manager at Buhler's Mid-Kansas Co-op, said soybean harvest was about 25 percent complete and a little disappointing. "The lower-lying ground got drowned out and the higher stuff didn't get enough rain," he said. Corn, however, was decent. He said some dryland corn made upwards of 100 bushels an acre and the irrigated corn was near 200 bushels an acre. In fact, he said, the elevator has binned 220,000 bushels of corn this year, compared to the five-year average of 192,000. He also said that farmers will harvest a good milo crop, which could start trickling in over the next week.