So far nobody took time to ask me what the crops were like on my farm this year. Well, I’m going to tell you anyway. The yield fell into the one digit figure, less than 10 bushel per acre. Renter Gene Stuckle had some fields on my cousin’s farm that did make 30 bushels.
I didn’t even ride the combine this harvest. The crops looked bad enough from the ground, let alone seeing it from the top of a self-propel. The last few years this same land averaged 50 bushels an acre.
Stuckle nearly busted his buns (a word commonly used nowadays) trying to get a crop on the road to produce lots of wheat. A dose of heavy fertilizer was applied. Early seeding was done. When cheat grass threatened to take over a good stand of wheat, Gene reseeded, but there was no growing time left, because winter came in November. When spring arrived, Gene risked his neck by flying on lots of anti-weed stuff. Stuckle’s reward? Not enough wheat could be squeezed out of the crop to pay for his farm expense.
Some of us retired farmers sort of felt smug that we had a small wad saved up for retirement years. But that’s not much satisfaction when you see younger farmers with good intentions that may go down the drain, if extended help is not given.