Rainy conditions impacting wheat harvest

BISMARCK, N.D. - These rainy and cool days are not good for farmers waiting to harvest.

The numbers for wheat are way behind both the five year average and where farmers were at this time last year, and it doesn't look like they'll catch up anytime soon.

Some fields are done. But, the USDA reports spring wheat is only 68 percent harvested, compared to 93 percent last year.

Durum wheat is at 46 percent, behind the 85 percent from 2018. Jim Peterson with the Wheat Commission says the consistent, heavy rains are stopping producers from getting into the fields.

“It's not the first time we've dealt with a wet harvest, but I think just the length of it and probably the broadness of the area is somewhat rare,” Peterson said.

Peterson says the rain can also impact the quality of the wheat, leading to issues like pre-harvest sprouting. He says the issue is widespread across the state, that there isn't one area that has been impacted the most.