Wheat story turns from less than ideal, to one of my favorites 

This is part of High Plains Journal’s year end activities where HPJ staff members were asked to write a piece about a memorable story they wrote in 2023.

I’m normally a stay-in-your-lane kind of a writer but staffing changes last year forced the remaining writers to pick up the slack for 2023 cover stories. I’d already picked all my normal favorite subjects I wanted to write, and most often I pick things like equine, sorghum, hay and forages, pasture management, FFA and women in ag. But one slot remained for me, and I chose something a little less comfortable, the wheat issue.  

Shockingly for the girl who was raised on a farm where wheat was the primary cash crop, wheat just wasn’t in my normal wheelhouse. Other staff members had more contacts and experience writing about the crop. 

When it came time to write the wheat cover story, much of the High Plains was in the grips of drought. The wheat that had managed to come up at all didn’t look very good. Prices weren’t great, and the war in Ukraine pushed things even more. 

I tried to write the story and keep things positive and remain optimistic without sounding like a broken record. When I turned the story in at the end of April, we were still very dry. But in the month’s time when the story went to print, it started to rain. And by the time the story came out we’d gotten nearly 2 inches of rain in Dodge City.  

Harvest didn’t last too long this year, and rains troubled many producers, but looking back I’m sure many were thankful to even have a crop and look on to another year with hope despite the setbacks of 2023. 

That’s one of the best things about farmers and ranchers. Despite having been dealt not the most ideal hand, many remain grateful for another year in the profession which feeds, clothes and supplies the rest of the world. 

Kylene Scott can be reached at 620-227-1804 or [email protected].