Laura: The wheat was short and the weeds were too

Northwest Kansas—Like every good mom of my generation—said jokingly—I have been indoctrinating my children with some 80s and 90s country the last few years. Recently, Alabama has been appearing on our playlist. I mean, who doesn’t like a good fiddle solo in the middle of their songs? Classic.

Anyway, back to to the point. “Song of the South” came on the other day and the line “the cotton was short and the weeds were tall” caught my attention and hit home. With the drought, I would tweak my version to, “the wheat was short and the weeds were too.”

Full disclosure, thanks to great weed control products and the drought it should be noted the field was mostly clean, but the weeds present were short.

It was time for wheat to return to our rotation and for months now, I have been looking forward to the chance to harvest that grain on our farm. This weekend, the opportunity finally came. And to tell the truth, it took a lot to stay positive-ish. At least we had a crop to harvest, but it was a little depressing to stare at as I ran the header close to the ground and watched the yield monitor. It had the nutrition and weed control it needed to be successful, however, Mother Nature didn’t cooperate. It was probably just a rain or two shy of achieving average yields.

This is the name of the game though in agriculture. You can try to do the right things, make educated decisions, work hard, and sometimes you hit a home run. You can make the exact same decisions and sometimes you strike out. There will be good years and there will be some challenging ones. Resiliency is key.

In the area, fields that were fallow/wheat faired a little better, in some spots, than those following a summer crop. Those that received a timely rain did better than those that did not. That rain “phenomena” sure makes a difference. The latter comment was a bit of a “stating the obvious” joke. I needed a reason to chuckle.

There are some nice some photogenic fields of wheat in the area and I’m genuinely happy for those with it. It is something worth celebrating, especially in times like these. Here’s to hoping and praying the rain will come a little more regularly next year.

I had to stop to take this quick shot. This picture represents generations gone by and generations to date. I know Ryan’s family saw both good and hard times on the farm too and found a way to persevere.

The views were still quite nice despite not achieving the yields I had hoped for.

Isaac unloading onto Alex.  

My sister-in-law and niece joined us for a field. The boy cousins packed in with Isaac who was a good sport about allowing visitors.  

I’m not sure how her camera transposed this picture because no, John Deere hasn’t been putting the driver seat on the other side of the cab. We were so glad to have their company. 

Laura Haffner can be reached at

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is brought to you by ITC Holdings, CASE IH, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, US Custom Harvesters Inc., Unverferth Mfg. Co. Inc., Lumivia CPL by Corteva Agriscience, Kramer Seed Farms, and High Plains Journal.


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