The winter wheat crop is in the homestretch.
If the rain ever stops, cutting in Kansas could begin late next week.
"That's if the rains break and it dries out," said Steve Inslee, general manager of OK Co-op Grain in Kiowa, Kansas - the Barber County town where the state's wheat harvest typically begins.
"We're looking at an average crop - maybe a little better than average," said Inslee, adding that it doesn't take much to beat last year's drought-stressed harvest.
For the rest of south-central and southwest Kansas, a few warm days and the combines could be rolling in no time.
Torrential rains, however, have poured in south-central Kansas - leaving nearly 7 inches in Reno County. Out west, rainfall totals are less, but continuous storms have brought hail, tornadoes and strong winds.
Jerald Kemmerer, general manager at Dodge City-based Pride Ag Resources, said it will be next week until the extent of the damage is realized. Scouts are in the fields, he said, adding one cooperative member lost a home.
With the cooler temperatures and rain, he expected more of a normal start to harvest - mid-June - rather than the previous predictions in March of an early harvest - when lack of rainfall and a warm March caused the wheat to mature rapidly.
"It is looking better than average," Kemmerer said Tuesday, adding that was only if the crop could avoid more inclement weather.
Ken Jameson, vice president of Garden City Co-op's grain division, said some hail has fallen in their territory. Still, some farmer members are estimating yields above 50 bushels an acre, which would be better than last year's average.
In south-central Kansas, the crop is popping back up after the rains. Ben Colle, a field agronomist for Dodge City-based Servi-Tech, who also farms with his family near Nickerson, said harvest in the area should start around June 10.
"The wheat crop overall is looking really good in our area, considering what it looked like in March and April," he said. "It wasn't too appealing."
Then, with the rain and cooler temps, farmers have been battling stripe rust, although many of his clients spread fungicide to protect the flag leaf, he said, adding that with year's farm economy and low prices, he was surprised.
"Now it is a good thing," he said. "They took the risk and did it up front, and it paid off. Once these rains moved in, it would have blown up on us."
But despite the decent potential, higher commodity prices would make a lot of farmers happier, Colle said, noting profit margins will be slim.
A global wheat glut, along with record carryover domestically and the next better-than-average crop of wheat soon to be reaped from the field has diminished prices, although the price of wheat has gone up some in the past week, hovering around $4.15 a bushel.
"Grain markets as as whole - they are probably the lowest margins in grain markets not only to the producers but the elevators in 10 years," Kemmerer said.
He said they have built enough storage and moved out enough crops for this year.
"Fall crops are going to the biggest issue," he said.
Some elevators, including Garden City, piled milo on the ground last year due to storage and a bumper fall harvest.
"We need to get wheat exports going," Jameson said, but added, "It's going to take a major weather event to get these prices turned around. There is a lot of wheat in the world."