Laura: The clock is loud

Phillipsburg, Kansas—We currently have three crews deployed across western Kansas and southeastern Colorado and they have been parked for days due to wet conditions. The storms keep coming and while we are trying so hard to be thankful for this desperately needed moisture, the harvest clock is also ticking loudly in our heads. This is the latest we have ever started wheat in this part of the world, and we aren’t the only ones. This is an issue for many farmers and harvesters alike.  

While we wait for news from the field, I’ll share with you some other interesting wheat news. Recently, I joined Richard Linton, president of Kansas State University, university team members, staff and members of Kansas Farm Bureau, and facility leaders at Amber Wave in Phillipsburg, Kansas, for a tour of the new facility.  

Amber Wave is in the final stages of construction and will soon be able to tout the title of “largest North American supplier” of wheat protein. The state-of-the-art facility has been fitted with the best equipment in the business. In addition to the protein, they will be continuing with the biofuel operations already on site. 

While at Amber Wave, we learned the science behind the extraction of wheat protein, quality specs required of incoming wheat, and the business’s impact on the local community such as jobs and economic value. Some other benefits of this protein site is that it will lessen the United State’s reliance on international suppliers. In turn, that will reduce the environmental impact in terms of the supply chain.  

Amber Wave was kind enough to send over these fun facts so I could share them with AAWH readers:

  • Amber Wave will utilize 20 million bushels a year of hard red winter wheat.
  • Annual production capacity of 100 million pounds of vital wheat gluten.
  • Amber Wave has grown from 30 employees to 100-plus employees.

To learn more about Amber Wave visit there website at

President Linton and Kansas State University officials, Kansas Farm Bureau members with KFB CEO Terry Holdren, and Amber Wave representatives gather for a group photo following the tour. (Courtesy photo.)
Finishing touches were going on the building’s exterior while we were visiting the facility.
Learning about the milling equipment and the care they have to take to clean and prepare the new rollers for wheat—this one was still a work in progress.
A place for everything. I want some of these boards for our shop.
This portion of the facility, once it’s completed, will be involved with packaging where the upmost care will be taken to protect a food grade product.
These aren’t your grandma’s kitchen flour sifters. The amount of wheat that will be processed, per hour, was astounding.

Laura Haffner can be reached at

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is brought to you by Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc.High Plains Journal, New HollandITC Holdings CorpU.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc., Kramer Seed Farms, and Lumivia Insecticide Treatment by Corteva Agriscience.

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