Doyle Jost of rural Hillsboro started combining wheat Monday, taking advantage of a warm spring and hot days to harvest more wheat acres earlier than ever before.
“Usually I am running with my hair on fire this time of year,” Jost said. “But without the cows I can run past 4 p.m. I really can almost pace myself.”
Earlier this year, Jost decided to exit the dairy business, selling all of his milk cows to fellow dairyman, Kent Sterk.
Though he said he did miss the twice a month milk check he used to get from his dairy enterprise, it was almost a relief not to deal with the expenses associated with the dairy business. It was nice to be able to concentrate on wheat harvest, he said.
“I’ve farmed with my dad for 23 years now, since I was a little twerp,” he said. “He’s retired now, but still helps out, but I just felt like I had so many responsibilities. It was hard to do everything the way it should.”
Jost said he still has a few steers out in the pasture, but since selling the dairy cows, he has enjoyed life more and taken on more fieldwork.
“I am harvesting more than ever before,” he said. “In addition to our own acres I am doing some custom work too.”
Jost said he planted a few more acres of wheat last fall than usual, influenced by the disasters of drought in the cornfields.
“I tried not to screw up our crop rotation too severely, but we did plant more wheat than usual,” he said.
Jost said he did have plans to double crop in soybeans after the wheat was done, but with current dry conditions was in no hurry.
“It’s terribly dry out there,” he said. “We have big cracks and if we planted the beans now they might go three feet down.”
Rain would be welcome, and a game-changer for fall crop planting plans.
“We’ve got a month to get the beans in,” Jost said. “If we get some rain, you can bet the planters will be rolling. There is always hope for the future.”
Meanwhile, the combine keeps turning and the wheat trucks are filling at Jost’s farm. He started cutting a field at 170th and Eagle Roads on Monday with test weights in the 62 lb. range.
“It’s all going just fine,” he said. “Nothing’s broke yet, and we are real happy with the wheat.”