Posted June 22, 2015
Many farmers appreciate the completion of their wheat harvest and the satisfaction of knowing that it is finished. However, in anticipation for the precise harvest weather Ross Kinsler has waited months for, his favorite part of wheat harvest is the start.
“If the wheat is standing and is cutting and yielding nice, I could cut wheat for a long time because it is not about the acres,” said Kinsler. “It is about the bushels.”
Double K Farms in south central Kansas is owned by third generation farmers Kinsler and his wife Judy. Their operation is located west of Kingman, Kansas, and is mainly comprised of wheat and cattle. Together they manage a 250 Herford Angus cross cow-calf herd that retains calves through the winter until they are feeder weight. Along with their wheat crop they raise milo, soybeans, and corn, as well as feed for their livestock herd.
Judy considers the farming lifestyle to be in their blood because both she and Kinsler were born and raised on family farms. Many of her fond memories of farming stem from the countless hours she rode in the combine with her dad when she was growing up.
“That is what I wanted to do,” said Judy. “I wanted to be where the action was, so when I got older I was able to help haul the wheat.”
For Kinsler, wheat harvest is a family ordeal. He alternates between the different jobs that need to be done such as combining the wheat and hauling grain, as well as planting.
“My sons and I and a hired man run all of the machinery most of the time,” said Kinsler. “My wife takes care of all the books, meals, and gofer activities, making sure that everything is where it needs to be.”
This year Kinsler started cutting wheat on June 11, but was rained out after one day. He resumed harvesting again on the 18th and has been harvesting ever since.
“The yields have been ranging around 30 to 55 bushels per acre and the test weights have been ranging from 61 to 64 pounds per bushel,” said Judy. “This year’s wheat harvest is a whole lot better than last year because we had a lot of wheat sprouting in the head from all the rain we got.”
Every year when all the equipment is oiled and ready to roll, Kinsler can’t wait to start wheat harvest with his family. He says it is enjoyable for him to get all the family members out in the field and working together.
by Audrey Schmitz