Jenny Burgess stepped into the shallow pond where her yard used to be and checked the rain gauge Monday. Burgess Hill Farms received four and a half inches of rain since Saturday morning, with more still coming down.
Burgess and her husband, Geoff, spent last week harvesting the last of their corn crop out of a few mud holes where they farm in northern Reno County and southern Rice County, near Nickerson. They finished up corn Wednesday of last week, with soybeans and grain sorghum still not ready to harvest.
They contemplated planting wheat, but then the rains came.
“We debated on whether to push to get the wheat in the ground or not before the rainfall,” she said. “We decided to take the gamble and not do it. We just don’t want to have to replant a lot of ground, especially if we get the amount that they are predicting in our area.”
Burgess’ total was up to 5.87 inches and counting Tuesday morning.
We are at 5.87" now. #kswx #duckweather pic.twitter.com/qSvex4mlKQ
— Jenny Burgess (@BurgessHillFarm) October 9, 2018
The National Weather Service office in Wichita forecasted rain to continue through Tuesday in Reno County, with a short break Wednesday and Thursday, before chances creep back into the forecast Thursday night. NWS recorded 5.7 inches of rain at the Hutchinson Municipal Airport from Saturday morning to Tuesday afternoon.
Even with the short break, high temperatures are predicted to be 60 and 55 for Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. The lower temps won’t be enough to dry out fields.
Cameron Peirce, who farms in Reno County near Haven and Yoder, made it through about half of his soybean harvest and had started planting wheat. He said delays in planting often result in a reduction in yield.
“Based on the amount of rain that we have received so far, it could be two weeks before getting back into the field,” Peirce said. “Normally we would be planting wheat as fast as we could right now. It’s been many years since we have had a fall moisture event like this.”
If weather had stayed in the 90s, Burgess would be harvesting soybeans this week. Even without the rain delay, their beans were still too green, and milo is still filling and coloring. Peirce believes his soybeans will wait out the weather as well.
“Soybeans still look amazing this year for us,” Burgess said. “Some of the best beans we’ve had in a while. They had accurate rainfall and temperatures for growth and fill this year.”
Adam Baldwin, who farms near McPherson, said in a tweet that this area's harvest would be talked about for many years, with record irrigated corn yields, record bean yields and potentially record sorghum yields sitting in the mud, unable to be harvested.
I can tell you right now this Cen KS #harvest18 will still be being talked about in 20 plus years. Record IR corn yields, record bean yields, looks to be record sorghum yields, and they are all sitting out in the mud and we can’t get them.
— adam baldwin (@iamyourfarmer) October 8, 2018