Amber Waves Of Grain

28 Jun

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When the song mentions amber waves of grain, this is what they are talking about. This is a wheat field ready for harvest and when the wind blows across it, the wheat ripples like waves across the ocean. We are winding up our wheat harvest and the yields were surprisingly good for this year.

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One of the local elevators built this make-shift storage facility. It appears to be a metal building 100X400 feet with a concrete floor. They dump the grain on the concrete and the front end loader pushes it into a pile. When they want to haul it out the loader picks it up and dumps it back into the truck. If you get a piece of bread in the future and it tastes a little gritty the wheat may have come from here! HAHA!

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After the wheat is harvested, soybeans are planted. I advise my growers to plant into the standing stubble, but some people choose to burn the stubble. I strongly discourage my clients from doing that. Leaving the stubble has a lot of benefits such as returning nutrients to the soil, improving the organic matter, conserving moisture, preventing erosion, and helping to smother out weed growth. I find it hard to believe the EPA allows people to burn the fields and put all those pollutants into the air but apparently there is no regulation preventing this. However, if the smoke crosses a road and could be a traffic hazard, the farmers are supposed to contact the sheriff’s department and get a permit so the deputies can block the traffic to prevent accidents. I can only actually remember this occurring about six times in my entire career so that regulation is pretty much ignored. When those dry fields get to burning on a windy day it is quite a sight to see, and you can hear the roar of the fire from a half a mile away. Be prepared!

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