• P.J. Griekspoor

    Repeated Cold Blasts Add to Winter Wheat Crop Concerns

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on January 27, 2014

    OK, grammar gurus out there. What is the plural of vortex? Vortexes or vortices? However, you spell it, I sure am sick of the polar variety of the above. Yes, I am a bit of a wimp for complaining about merely being slammed with periodic near-zero or sub-zero temperatures made worse by 60 mph winds when my colleagues elsewhere are also getting hit with a foot or two of snow, along with zero-degree temps and high winds. I think maybe it isn’t just the bitter cold, it’s also the…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Kansas Wheat Harvest Moving Fast And It's A Good Thing

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 27, 2013

    One of the really cool things about sharing your life with a pilot is you get to do things like I did Wednesday afternoon – take to the skies for a look at Kansas wheat harvest from high above it all. We took off from the Newton Metro North airport with ground temperatures above 100 degrees and it didn’t take long to be grateful that the plane was air conditioned. Even at 6,500 feet, it was a hot day. But the fields of ripe wheat mingled with pastureland, fields of…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Wheat Fields Have White Heads Among Green in Central Region

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 4, 2013

    I was driving across Kansas last week and took note of what I at first thought was the changing color of wheat of in Stafford  and Barton County. A closer look, however, revealed that the wheat isn’t really ripening in that area. It is freeze-damaged. The first clue was that the color is not so much gold as white. And there’s an awful lot of green heads in those fields. In south central Kansas, around Wichita and points south, there is a distinct, uniform gold…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Custom Cutters Kick Off Wheat Harvest with Safety Focus

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 1, 2013

    I was in Colby a couple of days ago as the U.S. Custom Harvesters kicked off the 2013 wheat harvest season with their annual safety seminar. This time last year, several of the crews were already headed into Texas to cut an unseasonably early wheat crop that continued to run ahead of schedule right through a Kansas harvest that was complete before Father’s Day. This year, the crop is as late as last year was early, with yet another freeze in the forecast tonight. But the…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Extent of Wheat Damage From Freeze Uncertain

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on April 24, 2013

    The percentage of the Kansas wheat crop adversely impacted by freeze damage is expected to go up substantially in the days ahead. It will take several days after the weather warms up to get a handle on just how much damage was done when the temperature hit a record 25 degrees in Wichita  in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, but there is no doubt that the wheat crop is far enough along in south central Kansas that damage is inevitable. Just about all of Kansas was hit with…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    What's Up With the 'Evil Wheat' Gluten-Free Craze?

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on October 9, 2012

    I have been remiss in my duty to follow every emerging, whack-o diet craze. Somehow, gluten-free mushroomed when I wasn’t looking. Oh, I admit, I heard it mentioned a few times and I even spared a moment or two of pity for those poor souls whose bodies can’t tolerate one of one the world’s commonest food ingredients, the gluten in wheat, rye, barley and other grains. But it has been only in the last couple of weeks that I realized how many “gluten-free&rdquo…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Wheat Harvest Exciting Stuff When You Are Almost 3 Years Old

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 12, 2012

    It was several months ago that I first discovered that Galen, my partner Dave's little grandson, has a love of big machines -- tractors, backhoes, graders -- you name it and he thinks it's pretty cool. He lives in Lawrence and recently came to visit. Since it's wheat harvest time, letting him experience a ride in the combine to cut some wheat seemed like a good idea, Sedgwick County farmer Mick Rausch was finishing up the last of his harvest at a field near his home in Garden Plain; a field…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Wheat Harvest Stalls; Adventure Beckons

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 5, 2012

    Most of you already know I'm a pretty enthusiastic grandma who tries to introduce her urban grandkids to life on the farm every chance I get. Never is that more true than during wheat harvest when a chance for a day of "grandma adventure" is becoming legendary in the family. A couple of weeks ago, I got a chance to introduce grandson, Lewis, to a day of meeting farmers and climbing on combines as we got ready for harvest. This weekend, it was time to take his cousins out for a similar…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Welcome Rain Creates Wheat Harvest Delay

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 4, 2012

    As a general rule, nobody is happy with a wheat harvest rain delay. The record-early harvest of 2012 is an exception. When widespread thunderstorms moved across the state on Wednesday and Thursday and high temperatures dropped from the mid-90s to the low 70s, farmers missed by the accompanying hail just breathed a sigh of relief and took a deep breath of fresh air. And those hit by hail ranging from nickel to tennis ball size checked the damage, called the insurance adjuster and drove…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Wheat Fields Dot Landscape Amidst City Growth

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 3, 2012

    Driving from the sprawling wheat fields of west-central and western Kansas home into Wichita gave me a unique sense of just how much, little by little, the city is nibbling away at the wide open spaces of Sedgwick County. I can clearly remember when I first moved to Wichita in 1990 how quickly I left the city behind when I headed out 21st Street toward Cheney Reservoir. Maize Road was the edge of the country; 119th and 135th Streets were gravel roads. Today, Wichita's sprawl is evident as…

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