Thursday, August 26, 2021

The Rest of the Story: Wheat 2022


Harvest time is kind of like a super model. It's gets all the press and the glossy photos. Just like that model, it usually looks good on camera and is the image that wins the accolades.

Harvest 2021 was no exception. I captured a lot of pretty scenes during the three long (very long) weeks from start to finish. 

But, as Paul Harvey always used to claim, here's "the rest of the story." 

Even as we were harvesting our 2021 wheat crop, Randy was looking ahead to Harvest 2022. Interspersed among the multitude of trips hauling wheat to the co-op at Zenith, the guys also binned two varieties of wheat - Bob Dole and Zenda -  in our on-farm storage.


Last week, we took the wheat to Miller Seed Farms to get it cleaned and treated.


It took multiple trips back and forth to deliver it and then pick it back up after it had been cleaned and treated. 

First stop is the scale house, where the trucks are weighed full. After the cleaning, the trucks are reweighed.

As always, Dolores Wagler, office manager, weighed in the trucks and keeps everyone organized.

On our last trip, Randy backed right in to the facility for unloading to begin the cleaning process.

Photo collage from a previous post

After the wheat is cleaned and treated, it comes back to our farm, where we reverse the process and put it back into the on-farm storage until we're ready for wheat planting in late September or early October.  

When we got back to the farm, Randy unrolled the tarp and then backed the truck into position.

After he had it positioned, I shoved a block of wood behind the back tires to keep it from rolling. 

You may be wondering why the wheat isn't golden in color like it was at harvest. After it's cleaned, we have Miller Seed Farm treat it with an insecticide and a herbicide, giving it its rust-colored hue. This is an extra expense, but we believe it will get the 2022 wheat crop off to a good start. Detractors worry about the amount of chemicals that go into the mix. However, only 0.48 ounce per bushel of Cruiser is used, while 1.68 ounce per bushel of the Vibrance product is used. Think about a little bottle of eye drops (usually about 0.5 ounces). Adding slightly more than 2 ounces to a whole bushel of grain is really not much!
Randy raises the bed on the tandem truck and tilts it into a tub, where an auger carries it back into the bin. 

And from a different angle ...
The white rod in the photo below shows the PTO. It's attached to a tractor, which turns the shaft and powers the auger.

The wheat is augered up from the tub back into the bin.

As the wheat still in the truck dwindled, Randy did his circus performer imitation and used a shovel and a broom to get the truck cleaned out before traveling back to Partridge for a load of another variety.

(I didn't get a wider shot of the process this year. Below is a file photo from 2020.)

Here's hoping this behind-the-scenes work will again pay off in "model-worthy" photos next summer for Wheat Harvest 2022. However, there's a lot more behind-the-scenes work to come between now and then.

"The rest of the story" always includes some bloopers.

The blown tire on the semi as we traveled to Miller Seed Farm was just the first of a plethora of tire problems last week. By last Thursday, we were up to eight different tires that either had to be repaired or replaced on different vehicles or implements. (No, that is not an exaggeration.) That Wednesday, I made two separate trips to Kinchloe's at Pratt for disc repairs and picked up a tire at the co-op. Randy made another trip to Kinchloe's on Thursday. We were back again on Monday after more parts arrived. Yes, they know us by name.

This business is not for the faint of heart. Who knows how many tires and multiple trips for repairs will be thrown in before we cross the finish line of Harvest 2022? Maybe I should start a poll ...


  1. Oh my goodness, 8 tyres! Great pics of the seed preparation process.

    1. We joked with the co-op that we needed a quantity discount. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.