Harvest is over for The Poor Farm. 4931.7 bushels off 161 acres, making 30.6 bu/acre. I get 1/3 of the crop. I just sold the crop for $5.02/bu. This will have to sustain the place for two years, because there won't be a crop next season due to crop rotation requirements.
So, it's below average - thirty five is the minimum standard for dryland wheat in this neck of the woods. It was too dry too long when the wheat started growing after winter. Then, it was too wet. Go figure. It also had significant hail damage, which might yield some more income from insurance. It's been a rough year for the crop/hail people - their adjusters have been and still are very busy. All in all, I'm not complaining. I'm just tickled to have a crop at all. But, it sure had the makings of a far better crop than it was.
Thanks for all the positive thoughts. My involvement as a rich landlord is similar to the Hindmost in Larry Niven's Known Space series, only more so. It is said: "Lead, follow or get out of the way!" I stay out of the way. I miss the action, but I've got to work at the job I have. No time for harvest these days. Some people ask me: "Why don't you farm your ground?" Do the math. I'd have to have about thirty thousand (conservative estimate) in old junk equipment just to work and plant the ground, then hire custom cutters to get the crop in. If whatever old tractor I had puked up it's pistons, this farm would be toast. Most of the equipment in the price range this amount of ground would support has already been hauled off as scrap in this area. Economy of scale is a way of life, as Farmer Frank always preaches. He is not just whistling Dixie on that subject, either.
So, I miss out on the hands on rewards that a real farmer gets from doing a job well. I miss having more control over my destiny since I hand it over to my "tenant." He's the one taking on the significant risks, and I have to trust he will do the best he can. Luckily, he is a damn good friend and I trust him and his family with far more than just the family ground.
But, I can still walk out into a freshly worked field of summer fallow, grab a handful of the loamy, slightly moist, warm soil, and breath in the smell of potential growth. It's not just plants that have roots down 'round here.