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Ehmke Diaries

September 21

Wheat planting continues plus customers call asking what varieties we sell and the price. Not all farmers grow the same variety. It is just like your home garden. You probably plant the best-suited and recommended varieties for your areas whatever the crop. It's the same in agriculture. And it is the research and search for new varieties that is critical for the future of agriculture. We try to sell the varieties that are most successful for our area. Currently the top ones are Jagger, 2137, TAM 107 and Ike. They produce the most bushels per acre plus they have some disease resistance that is very important.

Some farmers call late at night because they want to pick up a load in their trucks early the next morning. They plan carefully to use our wheat because it is cleaned and certified by the crop improvement association. That means it is pure wheat seed free of weed seed or trash. Farmers will probably harvest some of this seed next July to keep for the next year's crop and the rest they sell at the elevator where we take the crop for storage. Then we sell some wheat when we need money to pay our bills. After a few seasons of growing their own seed, farmers freshen their variety with the seed they purchase from our farm. They also may decide to change varieties depending on the recent research.

September 25

Today we prepare for the arrival of a Chinese visitor. She wants to visit and work on a western Kansas wheat farm. She arrives late today in Garden City where Louise will meet her at the airport. So Louise is cleaning house and grocery shopping plus paying bills and loading wheat trucks.

September 26

Our guest from China is anxious to learn about our farm. This morning Louise took her to Dighton to meet some of the business people we work with everyday. Her name is Manli. She wants to know how farming works. So first we visited the grain elevator where we take the grain. Then on to the bank where she met the bank president who explained to her how farm loans work and how farmers need the bank for capital to operate their farms and banks need the farmers as customers. We work closely together so that both businesses are a success. Then on to the Lane County Implement business where we buy our tractors. Manli met the owner who explained again how farmers work closely with the equipment dealer and the bank. This is a John Deere dealership.

Manli got to drive the tractor and plant wheat. Vance helped her drive and plant about 50 acres. Then off we went to the Dighton football homecoming. Layton sang the homecoming song dressed in his football uniform. Dighton won!!

September 27

We cleaned out drills to prepare for the next variety of wheat. Every time we switch varieties we have to clean the drills very well--even vacuuming. Layton planted his wheat plot today. It will have 5 varieties. Last July his wheat plot booth won grand champion at the state fair. Other news was that his state fair photo of his sister was selected for publication. He currently has a photo in the Kansas 4H Calendar.