Berryton, Kansas

We have received a little more than an inch of rain since our last report, putting us in the neighborhood of three inches for the month. Nothing has happened in the fields yet this season. The first thing I need to do when we dry out is to spray and fertilize our wheat. We had one short window with dry surface soil earlier in the month, but the wind was blowing hard those days.

After that, the next item would be to get fertilizer down on ground going to corn. I’m trying a new applicator to dual apply dry nutrients with anhydrous, and I’m excited to see how that will work out this year. Before that can happen, we have a lot of drying out to do. Corn seed deliveries have us ready to get the planter rolling as well, but that will be a ways off, even if the precipitation pattern were to change immediately.

Before my wife went back to teaching, she stayed at home with our kids. The closed schools and stay-at-home orders have turned that routine on its head, just as it has for many millions of parents. Right now, with the weather keeping us out of the fields, she is legitimately busier than me. In addition to working with our two oldest children on their school work, she has several dozen band students from fifth to 12th grades submitting instrument practice videos, and other class assignments rolling in every day to keep up with. On top of that, our four-month-old son is now very excited to demand he be attached to her hip now that daycare is also closed.

As you might imagine, with all that, it’s been eventful for her the last few weeks. But, in spite of the work involved, the abrupt change in circumstances has also been fun. We are getting a chance to be together in a way that we haven’t done in a few years, and the slower pace of farm work has allowed us to enjoy it more than we would if the fields were humming with activity.

Local basis levels: corn -0.03, soybeans -0.34; and hard red wheat -0.12. — Ryan Johnson