Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thermometer Calisthenics: A Wheat Report

A Time to Think

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, 
or sailed to an uncharted land,
or opened a new heaven to the human spirit. 
–Helen Keller, author and lecturer
From a Guideposts email devotional
Some people see snow and freezing temperatures. Randy sees moisture and insulation. He is officially an optimist, even as the thermometer plays its version of calisthenics with its unpredictable ups and downs. 

On Easter morning, we got more snow than we'd had all winter. However, that isn't saying much. I bought some new snow boots last fall, and I didn't even take the tags off. We probably had an inch or two of snow that blanketed the ground on Easter morning.

It also covered the wheat fields. It was the thermometer's second dip into the 20s during the past couple of weeks. The first time, there was no snow cover on the ground. During this latest foray into the 20s, the snow helped insulate the wheat crop.

Snow on wheat isn't usually a problem, especially during the winter. Snow means moisture and moisture is a good thing. But we had already had temperatures that were more summer-like than spring-like, flirting with the high 80s, so the wheat was well on its way out of its winter "sleep" or dormancy.
This week, Randy has checked to see if there is freeze damage in our fields. He carefully broke apart the stem to reveal the "innards." In our fields, the wheat plants still appeared green and growing, inside and out.
A fellow Kansas Wheat board member who lives in Sumner County, found some freeze damage in his crop. Because his fields were a little further south, the wheat was a little further along, making it more susceptible to damage from the freeze.
For now, my resident optimist thinks our wheat continues to look pretty good, though it definitely needs some additional moisture. The unrelenting Kansas wind has dried out fields. A nice, gentle springtime rain would be just what the farmer ordered. And we'll take it without severe weather like hail and tornadoes, thank you! We don't ask for much, right?


  1. I sincerely hope the weather Gods will be kind to you. I love your snow photos and the fields of wheat do look healthy. Fingers crossed.

    1. Thanks, Helen! It's a long time until harvest, but we'll hope it continues to be a good year!

  2. The crop does look good. Glad that you couldn't find any damage from the cold snap. Seems you and me both need the rain...

    1. It doesn't look promising for rain this week. I hope you have better luck.

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