Most aren't as connected to the land as our grandparents were. Yet, most of us pay attention when the annual wheat harvest begins.

    Anyone who's ever been around a farmer knows that look they get on their sun-burned face this time of year. It's drawn with a combination of lines caused by worry about not enough rain, worry about too much rain, worry about hail, worry about equipment breaking down and worry about wheat prices.


Most aren't as connected to the land as our grandparents were. Yet, most of us pay attention when the annual wheat harvest begins.
    Anyone who's ever been around a farmer knows that look they get on their sun-burned face this time of year. It's drawn with a combination of lines caused by worry about not enough rain, worry about too much rain, worry about hail, worry about equipment breaking down and worry about wheat prices.
    If you're having trouble understanding the farmer's state of mind in June, try imagining you're a retail store owner and your store is only open five days every year. You spend the remainder of the year ordering merchandise, cleaning your store, calibrating the cash register and worrying about the weather. Now think: your store is outdoors and Mother Nature can wipe out your whole inventory with one good hail storm.
    Although they can never relax until harvest is over, most farmers in the Dodge City area could be a little less wrinkled this year.
    Both Texas and Oklahoma's wheat crops have been well under normal.
    "Crops to the south of us have been devastated this year — Oklahoma's harvest is expected to be only 40 percent of average," Dana Peterson, producer policy specialist with Kansas Wheat told the Daily Globe.
    If the Kansas crop is good and can be harvested without significant loss, Kansas stands to benefit with the chance to supply more of the market demand.
    Kansas Wheat is a combination of two organizations: the Kansas Wheat Commission, which is the check-off group for the state, and the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, which is the lobbying group for the Kansas wheat industry.
    Kansas Wheat maintains a daily harvest report beginning with the first test cuttings and continuing until the last field is cut. The daily reports are posted on their Web site: www.kswheat.org.
 For the complete story go to http://dodgecitydailyglobe.ks.newsmemory.com/

Watch the Daily Globe's Business page for daily updates on the progress of the area harvest.

Reach Don Steele at (620) 408-9910 or e-mail him at
don.steele@dodgeglobe.com.