Right Now in Nebraska

I snapped this picture on my phone when I was at my friend’s house that has the incredible view. I like how it shows a lot about what is happening in western Nebraska right now.

In the bottom of the picture you wee what unwatered grass looks like. DRY. We are really needing rain in our part of the state. We’re at the point where it feels like we’re constantly pleading with God to send rain and always trying not to worry. Oh that we would feel the need for more of Jesus like we feel the need for rain.

Moving on up the picture you see the beautiful green of irrigated corn. Then in the center above that is the golden wheat that farmers are starting to harvest. The contrast between those two this time of year is always so pretty.

Then at the top you have the gorgeous blue sky – the constant in all seasons.

Now check this out. I moved my camera a smidge to the right and it looks like this!

You see a vineyard and then you’re looking at a one acre hop yard. With the price of corn and wheat in the tank, some farmers are stepping out to try new things. This farmer is really going out on a limb. I’m pretty sure you won’t find even a handful of hop yards in our section of the state. It is quite an impressive piece of work!Those posts are huge in real life. Right now the green in the picture is weeds between the rows. The hops are planted in the black weed barrier. I didn’t get an up close picture, but I’m going to have to visit frequently to watch the progress and the process. 


June Crops

Farm Education:
We got to drive down a couple miles of a trail road this week so we were up close and personal with the crops. Here is how they are looking on the 2nd week of June based on pictures my kids took.

Irrigated Corn:
June Irrigated Corn Dry Land Corn:June Dry Land Corn Wheat: June Winter WheatWith this lovely 90 degree June weather, the corn is growing quickly (love those heat units!) and the wheat is changing daily. It makes for rapidly changing landscape around here.

“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10


Small Town Nebraska – What we did with winter storm Kayla:
This was the view out our back door when it was almost done snowing last week.
Winter storm KaylaOn our first day of having to stay at home, it seemed like it should be lunch time when it was only 9:30. We bundled up and braved the outdoors. IMG_0151 IMG_0148Elliana and I even walked to the post office, which was more like high step marching into the wind since the drifts came up past my knee. She could exert no more energy after that! IMG_0144Liza found swinging was still fun. It helped that the wind was at her back.IMG_0004IMG_0155The next day we worked to finish digging out. Brad decided the best way to get through the drift in front of his building was to bring out the sprayer – wide tires with a high clearance. sprayer in the snow

We had our driveway half way scooped, when Brad’s dad showed up. I saw one snow blower last week. People in rural Nebraska tend to go with skid steers and tractors when it comes to snow removal. I personally just like to shovel until I’m afraid my back won’t let me stand up the next day.

tractor pushing snowWe had a little more snow on Friday, but nothing new since then. When we went to church yesterday the roads were mostly clear except for a few spots where it was blowing over a little because of extreme wind. On the way home, it was a different story. A little car wouldn’t have made it through some of the drifts. In this picture you can see the clear road in the distance after where the snow had blown over the road.
blowing snowYou never would’ve known this was a dry road 4 hours ago.
snow drifted roadIt blew and bad enough that school had to start two hours late today. That was a new one for me.

Farm Education:
If you remember past discussion of the different kinds of wheat headers they use to cut wheat, here is another illustration why a lot of farmers are switching to the stripper header.

normal wheat header snow collection

much shorter stubble – much less snow

It’s probably hard to tell with the pictures, but we have verbal evidence from someone who went snowmobiling through both types of stubble that the wheat stubble left with the stripper header collected a lot more snow. More snow = more moisture!


Hitch Hiking Chickens

Small Town Nebraska:
Do you see the 2 chickens under the semi trailer? I took this picture on December 10 when I dropped off Wyatt to Brad as he was filling up with fuel at the co-op. They just showed up at the co-op that day, and several days ago those chickens were still wondering around the co-op. Maybe they’re confused that it’s a co-op not a coop. 
wondering chickens chickens crossing the road
The week after I took this picture, Brad took his semi eight highway miles away to get worked on. Guess what the mechanics found had hitched a ride – a chicken, a very hungry chicken. Brad had no clue he’d had a passenger.

Where did these chickens come from? During harvest, one of the fields Brad was parked at had chickens running around. They had hitched a ride from their home to the field on another farmer’s truck. We’re assuming that three chickens thought Brad’s semi would make a nice roost and hopped on. I didn’t mention the co-op chickens to Brad when I saw them at the gas station, or he maybe would’ve checked for more. He didn’t realize he was housing chickens until the mechanic heard something funny, which was two weeks after he’d seen them at the field.

I haven’t looked closely at semi trailers, but apparently there’s a place where chickens can ride safely when the truck is going 60 miles an hour down the highway.

Farm Education:
Check out this cute Nebraska farming family.

infants advilI was sent a bottle of Infants’ Advil a long time ago for free in return for reviewing it here. I might be so late in reviewing it that they don’t even care if I do, but I feel obligated since they gave it to me for free. Infants’ Advil is for ages 6-23 months and it’s active ingredient is Ibuprofen. Liza hasn’t needed anything to help with a fever or pain for a long time, but now she has a cold and/or is getting her two year molars. She’s still 23 months, so pain relief to the rescue! I’m all about giving little people something to help them take a good nap when they’re feeling cruddy. She was happy to show for the camera how she happily took her medicine. It was the white grape flavor and smelled delicious. IMG_0120IMG_0119








I’d love to say that she took a super nap and woke up happy, but that would be a lie. My ibuprofen trick doesn’t always work when it comes to teething and naps. I chose to not let that make me unjoyful for the rest of the day.


Wheat Leftovers

Farm Education:
Let me tell you about a challenge you may face if you’re a farmer. You’re done harvesting your field and you have to decide if the grain you have left will all fit on your semi trailer or not. When you’re experiencing this challenge, your semi will look about this full. Then when you get it this full, you hope you don’t get stopped by the Nebraska Department of Roads. As we have recently learned, that can be a $,$$$ experience!truck load of wheat Some close up pictures of a stripper header for you:
stripper wheat header stripper header If you’re wondering about the difference between a stripper header and the other kind of header, the stripper header sucks off the wheat berries and leaves longer wheat stubble, which means you retain more moisture due to more shade and catching more snow. You also may have more hassle when it comes to corn planting, especially if you have a wet spring like this one; but I think the benefits outweigh the cost in that regard.

The farmer across the road from Brad’s wheat decided to spray his wheat to kill it instead of harvesting it. See the golden rows of wheat still standing? They must have been having technical difficulties with their sprayer.
sprayed wheat

Checking the Drill

wheat drill

Before Wyatt left the field this day, Brad had told him he could help check the wheat.

air drillApparently, checking the wheat included tasting it. tasting wheatSomething was fishy. father son farming

One of the rows wasn’t putting out the right amount of seed. We tried to help with the investigation, but were not overly useful. After we left, Brad found the problem – a dead mouse was in the place where seed was supposed to be flowing. Somehow he fished it out and continued on his merry way.

And just so the girls don’t feel left out…

IMG_8369 IMG_8360 IMG_8357

First Tractor Ride

This girl smiles more at her dad than she smiles at any other person I know.IMG_1611She got to ride in the tractor with him for the first time this week.

Can you believe the tractor was driving the entire time we took these pictures?! Wonders never cease.

I should have left her chilling with Daddy just like this

IMG_1621because I took her home for a nap, and she refused to take one!

What was Brad doing?Drilling WheatHe was drilling wheat.