In the Midst of Planting

With more than 8,000 acres of wheat to plant, we are off and running. After about 1,000 acres seeded, the rain chased us home early.img_3926 

Isaiah 50: 8-10
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the shower and bread to the eater…”

In planted fields, the wheat is already coming up. img_3927img_3929Radishes are also coming up alongside the wheat to help maintain nitrogen levels and to aid in break up of hardpan. img_3928


June in Southwest Kansas

June has come and gone in a flurry of spraying, notill drilling, rain, bumper wheat crop, and international harvesters.
Soybeans, Milo, and Sorghum Sudan went in the ground as soon as the wheat was harvested. There is still a bit of wheat in the field, and some stubble left to plant. Having been blessed with 6+ inches of rain (less on some fields) this week, the field work has slowed.
Our custom wheat harvesters from Montana had a hard time finding locals to fill his crew so he filled positions with fellas from Hungary, S. Africa, Ukraine, England, & Mexico. This was a new experience for these international farm boys, and we enjoyed sharing our SW Kansas harvest with them. The wheat was plentiful, and kept the grain cart on the go, barely getting emptied into a truck and back out for a combine to fill the cart again. When about 1/4 of the field was cut, we would move in with to begin planting. This was quite the sight: 3 combines, grain cart, 3 trucks, and tractor & drill; all in the same field.2016-06-18 21.10.09Oldest son, Theron, brought his boys for combine and tractor rides.2016-06-18 16.49.52
Some verses in the book of Psalms seem very fitting for our reflections of the activities of June.
Excerpts from Psalm 147
Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.
He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call.  
He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.
Praise the Lord.

Signs of Spring. 

Spring is here in southwest Kansas.  Not only does the calendar tell us so, but the fields and cattle make their point as well.

In February, the wheat was green and ready to break dormancy and grow.   

However, we had cold weather and snow late February and early into this month putting many things on hold.  We didn’t let the snow and cold keep us too cooped up.  Instead, we took advantage of an opportunity to work on projects in the shop. We built a portable ladder/stairway in order to access parts from storage above our breakroom.    

The finished product is coming in very handy. Our latest project was a pallet storage rack.  

 It is in our storage shed, giving us much needed organization and extra space.  This rack is big enough to hold up to 16 pallets, which will be used to stack things on.  

We enjoyed the time to get these projects finished, but are glad for warmer temperatures, sunshine, and to be back in the field. It’s time again for spring seeding, and we’re busy getting our oats planted.  

Along with planting, we’ve been spraying wheat fields for weed control.  

And of course, springtime means it’s calving season.  Our cows have started calving, so we enter another busy season between the fields and pastures.  

As we start this new season, we look forward to seeing what God has in store for our livestock and crops, as well as our daily lives and families, over the next months.


A Trip Around The World

Being a farmer, and in the custom farming business, there is never really a slow season. There’s always something that needs to be done. This is especially the case for us in the Fall. Many hours are spent in the fields. Many acres are planted. And many miles are covered in the tractor.

It’s wheat planting season for us right now, and in addition to our rented and owned land, custom planting is a big part of our operation. Since starting our Fall planting in the end of August, we have planted over 7000 acres. I mentioned this statistic to one of my employees and he asked if I ever wondered how many miles that was equivalent to.

IMG_0380.JPGI had never really put much thought into it, nor figured it up, but he was already a step ahead. 7000 acres planted equals 1500 miles. Wow! It didn’t take me long to realize that that is like planting a strip of wheat from our farm in southwest Kansas to the farm I grew up on in southeast Pennsylvania.

This got me wondering how many acres it would take to drill around the globe, so I started to do a little math. There are 25,000 miles around the globe and 4.8 acres in a mile. Multiply them together and we have 120,000 miles. In the past 10 years since we started no-till drilling, we have covered pretty close to that, so we’re coming down the homestretch of our trip around the world.

IMG_0199.JPGWith our equipment, we are able to not only plant the wheat, but spread fertilizer simultaneously. People like the efficiency of planting and applying the fertilizer over the field in just one trip. The demand for our services keeps growing, so it shouldn’t be long before we finish our trip ‘around the world.’

Looking Ahead With Joy

You take care of the land and water it; you make it very fertile. The rivers of God are full of water. Grain grows because you make it grow. You send rain to the plowed fields; you fill the rows with water. You soften the ground with rain, and then you bless it with crops. You give the year a good harvest, and you load the wagons with many crops. The pastures are full of flocks, and the valleys are covered with grain…Everything shouts and sings for joy.
Psalm 65:9-11,13

IMG_0327.JPGAs the Autumn season is upon us, days are becoming shorter and temperatures cooler. There are many things we are looking forward to…fall harvest of milo, sowing crops for spring harvest, watching the wheat peek through the soil….We enter each season thankful for a fresh start and are reminded of God’s faithful promises and provision. We eagerly await what HE has in store once again.