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Hixson Diaries

Aug 26 - Sept 7

This week the guys started fertilizing for next year's wheat crop. We are putting on anhydrous ammonia (NH3) - the pressurized liquid in the white trailers you may see being pulled behind tractors in the field. It has to be tilled into the ground so the gas ammonia is caught for the crop to use and not lost to atmosphere. The last two years, other forms of nitrogen fertilizer have been more comparable in cost to NH3. This year NH3 is $5 per acre cheaper. With the current price of wheat so low, one has to cut all the "out of pocket" expenses one can. NH3 is not the most pleasant or safe product to use. If you've ever caught a whiff of ammonia, you know it stings your eyes and almost takes your breath away. The guys have to be very careful when they hook and unhook the tanks.

Steve had a meeting in Hays the 1st and 2nd with the Kansas Wheatgrowers board. The guys kept putting on NH3 while he was gone.

Steve tried to cut corn and milo the last part of the week but they were both too wet. Milo, or grain sorghum, is not a crop you see in all parts of the country. It is a grass plant, sort of like corn, that grows to between 28" to 48" tall. This time of year it gets a bronze, red, yellow or white club head on top, about the size of a man's hand. It is primarily a southern Hi Plains crop.

Earlier in the week the north part of the county near Delphos received close to 4 inches of rain. We only had about an inch. Since we have several fields in the area we drove up to see them. Several of the fields had washed pretty bad. Some had the soil wash down to where the farmers had worked the ground. A couple of our fields washed but fortunately not all and not very much compared to some of the neighbors.

Saturday Steve's folks had a garage sale in town so Ashley collected some of our junk to sell. Since she did all the work she got the money from our stuff. She and I stayed in town for the sale. We did not make a lot of money but Steve's folks got rid of quite a bit.

Usually we do not take off Labor Day, but this year Steve gave the guys the day off. We went to Wichita on Monday for shopping and seeing a movie. The idea was to get away from the farming for a while but our resident farmer still checked all the way down to Wichita who was harvesting and what they were cutting.


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