And the Waving Wheat, Can Sure Smell Sweet

Wheat in Western Nebraska

Wheat in Western Nebraska (harvested Mid June)

When the wind comes whipping down the plain, Neeeebraska. yup, not Oklahoma., but western Nebraska near Palisade.

Some people consider us a fly over state without much scenery, but I would argue there is something amazing at every turn, if you just know what to look for and why it’s important.

For example after stopping at this field you can hear a rustling sound as wind blows through the dry wheat. There is an illusion of waves moving across the prairie in an endless roll, never hitting the shore.

The wheat may look soft, but the heads and beards are actually quite coarse. Pick off a spike and break off one of the 30-50 kernals, rub it between your fingers and inside is a single grain of wheat. Put it in your mouth to taste the nutty taste. Look out across the horizon at the old abandoned homestead and the clouds rolling by, sigh. It’s peaceful, yet not quiet as the wave roll in the background. It’s soothing.

From this field of over 640 acres comes bushels of wheat which will be made into bread that you will pick up in your supermarket for just one dollar. The farmer was paid less than 0.05 for that loaf.

Other Ag Facts About wheat

America’s Bread Basket

  • Each American consumers, on average, 53 pounds of bread per year.
  • Assuming a sandwich was eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it would take 168 days to eat the amount of bread produced from one bushel of wheat.
  • A family of four could live for 10 years off the bread produced by one acre of wheat.
  • One bushel of wheat will produce 73 one-pound loaves of bread.
  • In 1997, Kansas‘s wheat farmers produced enough wheat to make 36.5 billion loaves of bread, or enough to provide each person on earth with 6 loaves of bread.
  • Farmers receive approximately 5 cents (or less) from each loaf of bread sold.

Want to follow a wheat harvesting family? Head over to Nebraska Wheatie

9 thoughts on “And the Waving Wheat, Can Sure Smell Sweet

  1. I have to say I really enjoy your blog posts. I feel like they are windows into a way of life that is very different from my own. Helps me broaden my perspective in the world. And thanks for the introduction to Nebraska Wheatie. I think I will enjoy following their blog too.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I enjoy traveling virtually too. Although eventually I want to physically be there as well. Tracie will enjoy your visits, I’ve known her for many years and been envious of their summer travels.

  2. What an awesome post!! I could see, feel, hear, smell and even taste your wheat field!! I enjoyed reading this. Do you have relatives in western NE? Do they cut their own wheat?

    1. Thanks Tracie, thought you might like the photo and post.

      My in laws are in SW Nebraska, but they are retired now. They do have connections though I know some crews used to come through the area.

      There is one guy who has over 200 pivots, so I’d say he has come ground. I’ll ask around if you like for next year.

  3. That really made me think of my Dad, who grew up on a farm in central Alberta. I had a dream once after he passed away: I was standing in a field like this watching an old car coming down a dusty dirt road, it stopped and a young guy jumped out and started to run happily into the field. I was yelling out “don’t run dad, I’ll wait”. Then I woke up and just knew dad was happy and ok.

    1. I’m touched that my image and post brought you memories of your Dad, in a pleasant manner. Images do trigger memories and emotion and I’m honored that mine did just that. Sounds like you have fond memories of your Father. Thanks for sharing.

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