Jun 29, 2016 at 09:43 PM CST
Every year, farmers keep their fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate throughout the growing season and into harvest, but wheat farmers are now assessing damage after hail hit northeast Colorado and moved into Nebraska.
Storms Monday, June 27, brought hail to the surrounding areas of Paoli, Haxtun, Julesburg and Venango, Neb. Holyoke seemed to be spared from the brunt of the bad weather, despite the 5:30 p.m. tornado whistle warning of severe storms.
With dark, swirling clouds, the storm looked worse than it was, bringing rain for only about an hour. Though the added moisture means further delays for wheat harvest, it seems Holyoke farms were well protected.
While no one has brought in any loads or samples yet, CHS Grainland grain merchandiser Steve Young expects things to start trickling in by the end of the week, just in time for the Fourth of July holiday.
Weather isn’t the only foe trifling with this year’s wheat crop. A worldwide surplus is driving wheat prices down, and the stripe rust fungus continues to affect area crops. Many farmers have sprayed for stripe rust this year, but those who didn’t could run into trouble.
“The crop that didn’t get hailed is looking good, and we can expect pretty high yields this summer,” said Young, remaining cautiously optimistic.
As harvest progresses, farmers will be able to see if extra bushels per acre can make up for lost crops and low prices. Harvesters can expect the price of wheat to remain low for at least the next six months.