A storm that passed through Finney County and southwest Kansas early Monday morning left its mark on area wheat, which could potentially slow down harvest.
“The rain came awful hard and laid a lot of it over,” Boyd Lear said of his wheat crop after Monday morning’s rain. “So it’s gonna be a little harder to harvest.”
Boyd, who farms south of Plymell, said when wheat is laid over, it can sometimes damage the crop.
“A lot of times, you can pick it up. And a lot of times, if it’s green enough, it’ll stand back up. So it’s not a total wipeout,” Lear said. “But it’s going to make harvest a bit of a struggle.”
TJ Binns, an agronomist with Syngenta in Leoti, was looking over a corn field in northern Finney County on Monday, an area the National Weather Service in Dodge City said received 3.05 inches of rain Monday morning, which is a record for June 13.
“There’s no damage from the water on the corn now,” Binns said. “The wheat, we’re getting close enough to harvest now that it’s starting to lay it over. So that’s going to work on the quality a bit and slow down harvest with trying to get the ground dry a bit, and to get the combines into it.”
Binns said farmers usually will let the ground get pretty dry before they begin to harvest, so they do not compact the dirt and so it supports the weight of farming machines.
Lear’s crop also received some damage from a storm on Thursday that passed through southern Finney County, producing one-inch hail. Andrew White, a meteorologist for the NWS in Dodge City said the NWS received only one report of one-inch hail in southern Finney County, but the hail size was probably a bit bigger.
“I farm a quarter that’s six miles west of (U.S. Highway) 83, and it was tripped up pretty bad,” Lear said of the hail damage his wheat received. “It stripped the leaves off of it.”
But Lear said the wheat will grow new leaves and will be OK.
“What it’s done is it’s delayed the time that it’s going to canopy, which becomes a problem in keeping the weeds down,” Lear said.
Lear added that he will probably have to put more herbicide on his crop to slow down the wheat pressure before it makes it to the canopy stage.
Lear said he plans to start harvesting his wheat in the next seven to 10 days.
According to Matt Gerard, meteorologist for the NWS in Dodge City, there were no reports of hail in Sunday’s storm, but there was some damage reported in Gray County.
“There were some reports of two power poles down in Montezuma,” Gerard said. “There were some street flooding issues in Cimarron due to the rain.”
Gerard said Cimarron received 5.73 inches of rain.
Monday’s early morning storm also caused power outages in the northwest corner of Garden City.
“We had lightning strike a pole that was close to the substation and blew two substation fuses,” Cliff Sonnnenberg, Garden City Electric Department superintendent, said.
The outage lasted just less than two hours, Sonnenberg said.
“It started just around 2 and then we had the power restored pretty close to 4,” he said. “We got the fuses replaced and everything went back on. It’s definitely fixable for us.”
With the possibility of more severe weather, Sonnenberg said his crews are prepared if any other outages pop up, noting that if something occurs, his crews will take care of it.
According to the NWS, 1.82 inches of rain was reported in southern Finney County and 3.05 inches fell in the northern parts of the county. Gerard said that Monday morning’s total of 3.05 inches was a record for Finney County on June 13.
Haskell County received less than half an inch near the eastern county line, and Kearny County had nearly an inch of rain in the northern part of the county, according to Gerard.
Scott County received 2.4 inches in the northwestern part of the county and 1.5 inches in southern parts.
The year-to-date rainfall for Finney County is 7.28 inches, Gerard said. From January to April, Scott County has received 3.6 inches of rain. He said the NWS has yet to get a report of May’s rainfall total for Scott County.
Kearny and Haskell counties have received 6.46 and 8.22 inches of rain, respectively for the year so far.
White said a storm moving from Colorado was expected for Monday night.
“We’ll see a chance of hail, but the bigger threat will be the wind,” White said.
In an email, Finney County Emergency Management Director Gilbert Valerio said additional thunderstorms may develop across Colorado and move into far western Kansas Monday night.
Those storms included the possibility of bringing hail up to 2 inches, 60 to 70 mph winds, heavy rainfall, and perhaps an isolated tornado across far southwest Kansas and western counties in the region, Valerio said in the email. The most severe storms were expected to be west of U.S. 83.
Harbour is a reporter with The Garden City Telegram. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.