Kim Baldwin, McPherson County farmer and rancher
The morning air has turned crisp, the temperatures have begun to drop, and the sun noticeably rises a little bit later every morning. It is definitely beginning to feel like fall on the farm.
Most evenings are also filled with a layer of dust in the atmosphere stirred up by the steady movement of the combines and tractors in the surrounding fields.
While we continue to bring the grain out of the fields during fall harvest, we have also turned our attention to the fields that will soon have green shoots growing. It’s time to start sowing wheat.
After missing rain showers practically all summer, we recently received some much-needed moisture. The slow, steady rain provided us assurance that it does, in fact, still rain on occasion.
But it also provided our soil with enough moisture to ensure a good start for most of our wheat. The hard red winter wheat we place into the ground every fall has proven time and time again it can handle a lot of extreme weather conditions throughout the year. From arctic blasts in the winter, late freezes and hailstorms in the late spring, we know this crop is hardy.
But one thing the wheat absolutely needs to ensure a good start is moisture in the ground.
For many months we’ve waited for it to rain. We’ve looked really hard for signs that a rain could be coming.
We’ve been teased with chances of precipitation all summer to only see those chances dissipate to nothing within 10-day forecasts.
We’ve prayed for it to rain.
And we breathed a sigh of relief and gave thanks when the small rain finally came.
It’s amazing how something like a rain shower can completely alter our outlook. It’s as if a rain can wash away any doubt that might have settled in our minds.
It’s cleansing and provides the rejuvenation of faith we all need to begin a new season.
It encourages us to firmly believe many seeds can and will be produced from one tiny seed planted into the ground.
As primarily dryland farmers, a rain shower is life-giving for our present and future crops alike.
As we continue to sow the wheat into the soil this month, we know that we’ll need more rain to get to a successful harvest. And while the forecast doesn’t show any chance of precipitation in the near future, we’ll sow anyway.
We’ll continue the tasks on the farm this fall and plan for a successful wheat crop this summer – all while patiently waiting on a rain.
“Insight” is a weekly column published by Kansas Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization whose mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and service.
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