Grain merchants survey the wheat crop

by Megan Schiffres

 

Virginia cooperative extension agent Trent Jones calculates the average number of kernels on wheat heads in the field as Perdue grain merchant Steven Fletcher counts the number of stalks in a three-foot area.

Even the gentlest breeze to graze the vast wheat fields of the Northern Neck sparks ripples in the landscape, like terrestrial waves in a tranquil sea of tender golden heads.

On what seems like an island in the center of that ocean of grain, the tops of three mens’ heads are barely visible, poking out above the soft yellow surf as they crouch to the earth and examine the crop with the familiar expertise of practiced professionals.

“Information is gold and the better we know what’s in the field the better off we all are,” says Virginia Cooperative Extension agent Trent Jones, as he looks out over the field of swaying wheat.

The information this group is searching for is all around them. They’re studying the wheat—its color, its height, its health, its maturity, everything about the plant that could tell them what to expect in the coming weeks and months.

The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation (VFBF) hosts a Mid-Atlantic Wheat Tour every spring, just as….


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