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Stoskopf Diaries

July 13, 1997

Today is the last day of the fair for another year! It’s lots of fun and we look forward to the fair, but it’s also a lot of work and Dean’s ready to get back to farming. Today is the 4-H Livestock Sale. The only animal we’ll be taking home tonight will be Georgie, Wayne’s bucket calf. All the others will be sold. The 4-H’ers receive a market price for their market animals, and also an auction "premium". The auction premium is one way in which local businesses and individuals support the 4-H’ers who purchase, feed, and work with market animals. It’s not easy to part with an animal that you have worked with for months but the kids handle it pretty well.

July 14, 1997

Today’s the first day in months that the kids could actually relax. Georgie still needs to be fed twice a day but that’s it for their 4-H chores. Dean baled hay in between rain showers and tried to catch up with everything else. He even mowed the grass tonight while we were gone to fair clean-up and premium payout. Now I need to get the flower gardens weeded. The kids say we have blooming weed patches this year, as the weeds got ahead of us during ball season.

July 15, 1997

Dean finished cutting wheat right before supper. The ground was still very wet but he was able to get it all cut. Wheat harvest was 25 days from start to finish this year. Yields were very high in some fields. The late April freeze was followed by dry, cool weather which helped the wheat plants heal and continue to make grain. Wheat fields hit by the May 19th hailstorm had yields that were about half of the other fields that weren’t hailed on. All in all, it was a very good harvest and we’re glad that it’s finally over!

I talked to my Dad tonight. He finished cutting wheat on July 7th and already has all his wheat ground worked at least once. We’re just getting started on discing the wheat fields that will be planted to wheat again this fall. The disc has sharp, round blades that cut the wheat stalks, slice into the dirt, and mix the chopped up straw and weeds with the dirt. When it rains, the chopped up dirt will absorb the rain.

July 16, 1997

Dean’s dad took the last load of wheat to town this morning! The 1997 wheat harvest is now history for us. Before we can celebrate, there’s alfalfa to swathe and bale, fields to work, cattle to check on and keep watered, and milo that needs rain. The kids and I hope to run up to Jamestown and see my parents and we have an annual neighborhood get-together planned for our house/machine shed in only 10 days. There’s a lot to be done between now and then!

July 19, 1997

Dean's been baling hay like crazy. We have 300 acres of alfalfa this year, most of which will be cut and baled at least 5 times. Ideally, it's 21 days from the time you swathe the alfalfa until it's ready to swathe again. The guys really have to scramble to get it all baled at just the right moisture levels. He stayed home and baled nights and early mornings while Julie, Wayne, & I went to Jamestown to see my parents. It's even drier in northern Kansas - hope we all get some rain soon.