If you've driven to Portland on Hwy 26 recently you may have noticed the amber fields on both sides of the road when you hit the valley. It appears that fields that are usually planted in corn or grass hay were planted in wheat this year.
I find it interesting how a mono-culture farmer can decide that there will be more money in a certain crop and plan and accept the risk for a year in advance when they put their plan in motion. The retooling alone is daunting. Harvesting wheat is very different than harvesting corn or hay.
The some of the fields I looked over last week had been harvested and some were yet to be harvested. The harvested fields were in straw which the farmers will harvest and bale like hay.
I usually keep a bale of straw around here. I use it in the chicken yard during the rainy season. The chickens do roam free most of the day, but they spend a lot of time milling around in their pen where they scratch the wet soil and turn it into mud. I lay dawn a couple flakes of straw and the chickens love scratching around in it looking for the occasional stray grain of wheat mixed in.
I have a couple stalks of wheat growing where stray grain fell on the way to the chicken pen or where I've put down straw as weed control. It's so cool that I want to grow a bed of wheat next year. I'll take the harvest and run it through a coffee grinder an have some home-made flour.