Monday, February 3, 2014
Kansas: The Wheat State
Teachers Denise Dickson and Natalie Clark organized a day full of activities celebrating Kansas wheat. My very own Kansas Association of Wheat Growers board member was glad to go to school to talk about the major crop on our farm.
According to the Kansas Historical Society, the kind of wheat to plant was actually a subject of much debate in Kansas prior to the Russian-German arrival. Most natives preferred corn for its greater household use and as feed for livestock, especially pigs.
Land promoter T. C. Henry was one of the first to plant winter wheat on a large scale, in virtual plantation style, near Abilene in 1873. The question of which was to be the dominant grain for Kansas was actually being settled upon the Russian-German arrival, and the grasshoppers deserve some of the credit, since they wiped out the corn crop and most of the spring wheat. Only winter wheat was generally successful in 1874. At the time the Volga Germans were settling down around Victoria, the Hays City Sentinel proclaimed that the question was now resolved: Winter wheat was the kind to plant.