It’s harvest time and the custom cutters have arrived!
Over the past 21 days dust and wheat chaff float in the air like a mist over an ocean of gold. Farmers have been patiently waiting for the wheat heads to be ripe with the perfect moisture and protein count. They snap off a head, roll the grain between their palms of their hands forcing the wheat seed away from the husk. If it feels and looks right, looks perfect, then they cut.
The 2015 harvest has been delayed by several weeks. Too much rain fell this year. “Too much rain” is rarely heard from a farmer’s lips in these parts of the country.
Northwest Nebraska is dry land farming and ranching area. Land owners depend on the rain and snow to water their fields of wheat, millet, sorghum or sunflowers. but this year we have had just too much for the month of June, normally the time the wheat has for really soaking in the sun and coming to maturity. Daily downpours with intermittent hail and fierce winds have caused the wheat crop to suffer.
Farmers have been stressed over the possibility of losing their year’s labor in the field. Some have found their wheat to be with “rust,” a bacteria that grows on the stalk damaging the crop; others have discovered their wheat heads that appear healthy are sterile of seed or near empty.
So when the crop is cut and gleaned by the harvesters, ranchers often turn to a higher source, their faith, to sustain them through this tense time.
Some are thrilled that their crop even has enough seed still in the wheat heads that they can even harvest!
There are many damaged fields which are being mowed down, wind-rowed, and bailed for the animals. Hail damage, rust or aggressive weeds and invasive plants have spoiled the harvest.
The financial risk a farmer takes on an annual basis to feed our world is overwhelming. I don’t know how they do it, year after year…
But I do know this, most love their work and the life that living on a farm provides for them and their families.
Inner strength, Faith and Hope keep them going to the next season.