Thursday, June 4, 2015

Almost Time For Wheat Harvest To Start

Amber waves of grain with a few weeds scattered here and there
It's amazing how quick everything can dry out around here, less than a week ago it was relatively cool with highs in the 70's, everything was muddy, and I was worrying about making a bunch of horrendous ruts all over the wheat fields trying to harvest the wheat.  

But about a week ago the wind really started blowing, the highs crept up to almost 90, everything is drying out, and I'll probably be cutting wheat in a few days. As much as I pay attention to the weather, it still sort of surprises me how much the weather can change in such a short time and it's one reason I'm always on the lookout for drought conditions to come roaring back even after record-setting amounts of rainfall. 

Right now, even though I'm horrible at predicting wheat yields, I'd predict a below average to average harvest.  It was dry all winter, then we got enough rain to save the crop, followed by almost too much rain at the wrong time to help the wheat but at the right time to get the weeds growing right before harvest when nothing can be done about them, so hoping for an average crop might a little too optimistic. 

It's always better to be a little pessimistic and then surprised when things turn out better than you thought, than to be too optimistic and then really disappointed when things turn out worse than than you hoped for (that's a famous line from one of my many motivational speeches, call for info if you want to book me).

On a more optimistic hopeful note, as soon as wheat harvest is finished, I'm planning on trying a few new things. One new thing I'm going to try is planting a combination cover crop and wildlife food plot strip along one border of the field with a mix of sunflowers, grain sorghum, and whatever else I can find.  Stay tuned for updates on all the dove and quail I'm seeing, the big bucks I see during deer season, and how much the cows like eating sunflowers.

I'm also going to see if I can figure out how to grow double-crop soybeans by planting a 5-acre test field.  The combination of winter wheat and double-cropped soybeans seems like it would be good at both making me some money and building my soils, and it's something I've been considering doing for awhile. Stay tuned for updates about how frustrated I get when all those big bucks eat my soybeans instead of eating the stuff in that food plot on the field border like they're supposed to.

So stay tuned for all that and even more.


  1. Isn't a 'pessimistic farmer' being redundant?

    1. The way I see it, you gotta learn to be both pessimistic and optimistic if you want to be a part of the farming world.

      A little pessimism at harvest can keep you sane whenever the harvest is a complete disaster, and you need to be overly optimistic whenever you're planting something or else you's never try growing anything at all.

      Being overly optimistic at harvest and extremely pessimistic at planting would be a terrible combination. I'd hate to be around anyone for very long that thought that way.