A return to wheat

Monday, September 25, 2017

September 25th is the date when we prefer to begin planting our soft red winter wheat (SRW).  Well, that is going to happen today.  What makes it special is that we have not planted any wheat since the fall of 2013.  The price of wheat has been lower than our cost of producing it, so we stopped planting it.  However, during a short period of market rally this summer, Ross was able to sell some 2018 crop wheat at a favorable price, so we are able to once again be in the wheat business!   For many years in the 70s and 80s, wheat plus double-crop soybeans was our enterprise with the best return.  But in recent years, the wheat price was not adequate.  It will be interesting to see how this 2018 crop of wheat turns out.  Having wheat will protect those fields from erosion during the winter, and provide some agronomic benefits to our crop rotation.

There’s an old saying about wheat:  “Plant in the dust, the bins will bust!”  The fields are certainly dry right now.  Let’s hope the old farmer saying runs true.

This is the rig that will ‘plant’ the wheat crop. CPS blends the wheat seed into a special mixture of granular fertilizer and then spreads it on the selected fields. Larry comes along with this disk and roller to incorporate it all into the soil. In a few weeks, the fields will be a beautiful green!

Larry is here to plant our wheat crop.  As we have thought about it this morning, this is probably his 40th fall to plant our wheat crop for us.  He began working for dad when he was only 15, and he has been part of our team since then.  After getting his chemistry degree at Indiana, he took a position at the Jasper hospital, running the lab there.  All these years, he scheduled his vacation time so that he would be available to plant our wheat crop.   Now that he is retired from the hospital, his days are a bit more free to be around to help us in the fall.  We have grown to depend on Larry and his can-do attitude.  This is a happy day for him and us.

This is Larry. He is now in his 50th year of working with us. Thanks, Larry!

Here is a picture from the late 1970s, where Larry is planting our wheat crop with a JD 4430, and a little disk and drill. This picture is one of several hanging in the farm office to remind us of our past experiences.

Our soybean harvest will resume today, after taking a day off yesterday.  It felt good to rest.

The heat of summer remains for the next few days, but by next weekend, more seasonal fall weather is predicted.

We are looking forward to next weekend, for some of Philip’s friends from Oregon are coming to visit him here at the farm!

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