It’s been a difficult year. Scratch that, it’s been a difficult several years. We are so dry that the cracks in the ground appear to be endless. The rain seems to skip us every chance we get. We boldly plant our fields in hope of reaping something. This year looks pretty bad here in the heartland. I always wonder if people in the world really know what it takes to make the loaf of bread that sits on the grocery store shelf. It takes wheat. A few weeks ago we went for an evening drive on Saturday to get out of the house. The wheat looked stressed, but it was at least still making seed and was green in spots. On Sunday, we got up to go to church and that same wheat was completely white. In less than 24 hours every field in sight turned white. Not a golden wheat color, but white!!! I have never seen anything like it. Mike picked a few heads and the seed was still in the soft dough stage, it was done, it was dead, harvest would really consist of cutting the straw to clear off the field. It is a sad day.
When I was a kid, the neighbor would hire kids to rogue wheat. That means to walk the field and pick out any long heads, rye, or anything that didn’t belong in the field. It helped keep seed clean for the next years crop. I remember it being so hot and windy and frankly pretty miserable! They were the most beautiful golden color and the sunsets glistened off those bearded heads and made summer gorgeous. White doesn’t glisten. White looks like dog poop that’s been in the yard too long. And it pretty well leaves me with that same crappy feeling.
A little further West, it was dry. Then the monsoon came and dumped anywhere from 5-12 inches of rain in a day. Where we needed the rain, it rained all the way around us, big drops of earth soaking rain, and we got .35 on ground that is so hard that it only ran off. The funny part about farming, that isn’t really funny, even the big gamblers in Vegas wouldn’t farm with the odds being as high as they are. I wish that our government actually had a grasp on the difficulties of bringing food to the world in the heartland of the US. I wish they understood what it takes to make a bushel that they will give you a few crappy dollars to produce. I wish they understood the cost to maintain equipment, and the cost to run it. I wish they could see the worry lines on each and every farmers face as they struggle to make it all work. They might have a different take on the way they regulate prices and set tariffs. They might worry if they thought that a bad crop could be the difference between a job and no job. Oh, but I get off on my tangent going the other direction. I think our Kansas Representatives need their asses spanked for the decisions they have made that affect our entire state, not just how shitty they treat agriculture. But that is another blog.
Today, I am going to make a few sandwiches and take them to the field and watch the wheat just roll in…..Thinking of everyone who is in the field….some just like to go and stand and that’s ok too!
Until then…..I hope for rain, peace and peace, and peace and…..