Monday, October 12, 2015

The Journey Begins: Wheat 2016

As the leaves and grasses begin their fall wardrobe change to yellows and browns, it seems counter intuitive that a blanket of green begins to cover Kansas fields.

While the rest of the world is preparing for winter, a new crop is beginning a 9-month journey from planting to harvest. Tender wheat blades erupt from brown soil, like soldiers in a row.

We started planting our 2016 wheat crop on September 24. We got a  total of 1,559 acres completed last Tuesday evening, October 6. We planted 200 more acres for 2016 than we harvested this year.
All but the latest planted fields are coming up, despite dry conditions. But it desperately needs a big drink of water. A nice, gentle, soaking rain over several days would be ideal. (We started putting our final cutting of hay down on Friday, so we've done all we can to entice it to rain!)
During the planting "marathon," we added 600 miles to the white pickup's odometer. By "we," I mean mostly "me" as I hauled fertilizer tanks and fuel to fields (and saw my fair share of sunrises and sunsets in the meantime.)
 There will likely be many twists and turns before harvest in June 2016 - whether we're talking weather conditions or market volatility. That's just part of farming.
Only when we look in the rearview mirror after next year's harvest will be know whether we've made the right decisions - to plant or to wait on rain, how many acres to devote to the crop, what wheat varieties to plant ...
Right now, there are more questions than answers. But I suppose that questions are as much a part of life as the seasons and the mystery of a fledgling green crop emerging as the rest of the world gets dressed for fall.


  1. Beautiful photos! What type of wheat do you grow?

    Mary Mae
    Western Prep

  2. We grow hard red winter wheat. It's planted in the fall and harvested in June.