Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Sun Sets on Harvest 2011

Wheat harvest 2011 on the County Line is in the history books.

When we consider how much wheat in western Kansas was "harvested" with a disc and not a combine, we feel particularly grateful for our blessings of harvest.

Wheat is a forgiving crop. That's why we dryland farmers plant it. Kind of like the purported reliability of postal carriers, it "delivers" in the face of drought, freeze and other untimely weather events.

We finished cutting wheat Monday:
  • Average yield on the County Line was 36.7 bushels per acre, with a range from 24 to 48 bu/acre. Surprisingly, last year's average was 37.2 bu/acre. That's a little misleading because we had some fields totaled last year by hail.
  • The wheat was an excellent test weight, averaging 62 to 64 pounds per bushel. (The benchmark is 60 pounds a bushel.)
  • The average length of time spent broken down was ... Just kidding, though maybe I should have figured that stat since it seemed to be a common occurrence this year - usually about suppertime.
  • One breakdown we didn't have was a single flat tire on a grain truck. Most harvests, there's a trip (or two or three) to Stafford to get a tire fixed. At lunch on Monday, all of us confessed that we'd thought about this unusual statistic at some point during harvest. But none of us said it out loud and risked jinxing our perfect record for the year.
  • We cut through some mudholes that Randy has never been able to harvest before in the 30-plus years he's been doing this. That's not necessarily a good thing because it illustrates just how dry we are.
  • But with all the facts and figures, some of the best parts of harvest are intangible ..
like visits from curious little girls ...

... and the beautiful scenery of Kansas. Besides the rainbow, the evening sky was decorated with a cloud bank to end the day on June 18.

June 18, 2011

We are proud to be a part of the 22,000 Kansas farmers growing wheat and helping to put bread on the table of the U.S. and the world!

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