McPherson, Kan.

There are a lot of negatives about social media and I would argue those negatives normally outweigh the positives. Sometimes the positives do outweigh the negatives when they allow people to tell a story that isn’t being told or isn’t being told at a personal level. The recent floods are a place where social media helps people to see the impact of the floods without a filter, people can see pictures of hay caravans that farmers and ranchers have organized to send relief and are maybe inspired to do something, as well.

Makayla Schroeder, a local Inman High School student who helped us with harvest this fall, was driven to action at what she was seeing. She organized Operation Feed the Critters and started gathering donations of hay, feed, and supplements. She and the Inman FFA Chapter raised enough donations that they needed to find a semi, and made two trips to deliver all the items they collected. It makes me feel good to see our local kids think beyond themselves and help others in need.

Seeing the aftermath of the floods in Nebraska, and now Missouri, makes it tough to complain about our current weather and field conditions in Central Kansas. It’s tough, but it’s possible. A farmer can almost always find a way to complain about weather. I’m typing this on March 31, which is normally the weekend we start planting corn. Our insurance start date for corn is April 1, but it’s pretty common to plant a 40 or get started on an 80 on March 31 to make sure everything is working on the planter. This year, we haven’t even considered planting yet. The ground is starting to dry out on top, but it is just mud underneath the first few inches.

We started spraying herbicide on our wheat ground but are having a hard time finding fields that can carry, and the situation is the same on our fields that we need to top dress. We have a couple of fields that were full tillage wheat and those fields are dry and carrying well. Our trouble fields being no-till wheat on wheat, I will let you draw your own conclusions and judgements on that. Typically, my wheat on wheat no-till fields don’t look as good a full tillage fields but — in my experience — will yield with or above-tilled fields, assuming they have a similar planting date. On a year like this, where moisture has not been limited, I would lean to the tilled fields out-performing our no-till fields. I know some will view these previous sentences as blasphemy no matter which side of the tillage isle you are on, I can only judge on my experience on my soils.

Local cash basis: wheat -33, corn -33, beans -112, milo -70. — Adam Baldwin