Tuesday, October 18, 2016

And So It Begins Again ...

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 nine-month journey from planting to harvest. Tender wheat blades erupt from brown soil, like soldiers in a row.
We started planting the 2017 wheat crop Monday, September 26. Randy completed our 1,283 acres on Wednesday, October 12.

The wheat is coming up, despite dry conditions, but it could use a big drink of water. A nice, gentle, soaking rain over several days would be ideal. (We put our final cutting of hay down on Friday, so we did all we could to entice it to rain. Instead, we got summer-like temperatures!)

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 meals to the fields and shuffled people and equipment from one field to the next.
So, the journey begins again. There are a whole lot of sunrises and sunsets before wheat harvest will roll around again next June.
There will likely be many twists and turns before harvest - whether we're talking weather conditions or market volatility. That's just part of farming.
While the wheat crop is at its beginning, another crop was being harvested. In typical County Line fashion, it wasn't without drama.
The guys swathed the sudan three weeks ago.  It takes awhile for it to dry down enough to bale. But then our baler tractor had to go to the shop for overheating and for hydraulic leaks (AGAIN). They brought it back Thursday evening. And then the baler didn't want to work.
Randy gave up and decided he'd call Case the next morning. And, lo and behold, it worked after that break. Who knows? We're just glad not to have to add another repair bill to the cubbyhole ... at the moment, at least!

In total, we have 200 sudan bales to feed this winter. In addition, we baled another 300 for our neighbor.
We also left some of the sudan standing, and we'll put our "ladies in waiting" mama cows on that to graze. The guys made a swath around the perimeter of the sudan field so they can more easily install electric fence when the time comes. We'll be moving cattle at the beginning of November, and tick another task off the list.

Beginnings and endings ... it's all part of life on the farm. 

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