McPherson, Kan.

First off, I want to say that I have been seeing some of the devastation of the flooding in Nebraska and our family has been keeping its residents and especially the farmers and ranchers in our prayers. We were lucky with the storm and only received a small amount of rain and a lot of wind, but no damage.

Spring has finally shown up with warmer weather and greening wheat fields. I may be beginning to understand the collapse of the wheat market, because in this area while many fields have sizable drowned out areas, the areas that aren’t drowned out look pretty good. The wheat fields that got put in the last week of September look excellent. The fields that got put in right before the six inches of heavy rain are starting to look better. The fields that were planted at the very end of October/start of November have a stand, its small but it’s a stand.

We still haven’t top dressed our no-tilled wheat yet but given the weather, we may be able to travel in about 10-14 days after our last rain on our better drained fields. As I am writing this, we have rain forecasted for the week. The one thing I know for sure is, once it dries out, it is going to be busy.

The biggest issue in this part of world will be being patient to let the ground to dry out enough that it can be worked and kept in decent condition. The worst thing to happen with our soils is jump the gun to get out and try and fix our ruts a week, or even a couple days, too soon and then have the rain stop. My gut feeling is that we will battle rain all spring and then it will turn off and we will be hurting trying to finish our bean crop with a lack of moisture.

My dad and I attended a cotton meeting put on by KSU Extension; it was the first Extension meeting that talked me out of growing a crop. We farm right at the top of the current cotton belt, and neighbors to the west have been having good results the last couple of years. What I learned at the meeting was that the level of management of cotton is extremely high, but so is the reward of a good crop. Though we really wanted to try cotton this year, given how compressed our work load is going to be, we felt that it just wasn’t the right year to try something that was that high of management with our lack of knowledge growing it.

Cash basis — wheat, 33; corn -35; soybeans -112; milo -70. — Adam Baldwin