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Dennis E. Taylor
08-14-2014, 11:49 PM
Hi, I have a couple of questions:

1. Is wheat successfully grown in Nebraska? I'm pretty sure it is, since I've found places that sell the seed around Lincoln, but I'm thinking commercial levels, not just hobby farm.

2. If you wanted to grow wheat on a given plot of land, and it had never been worked before, would you do some kind of prep in the fall? Like maybe plowing before winter? Or is that unnecessary?

3. What time of year does the weather get jacket-and-gloves cold in Nebraska, esp around Lincoln?

Thanks in advance. I'm expecting it'll probably take a local to get these answers. :)

Ken
08-14-2014, 11:53 PM
Are you familiar with Willa Cather? Wrote long ago.
Still, her novels are mostly all set in her native Nebraska. Very celebrated !

King Neptune
08-15-2014, 12:54 AM
2. If you wanted to grow wheat on a given plot of land, and it had never been worked before, would you do some kind of prep in the fall? Like maybe plowing before winter? Or is that unnecessary?


Finding a piece of arable land in Nebraska that has never been cultivated would be the hard part. Do you have a particular part of the state in mind?

WeaselFire
08-15-2014, 02:35 AM
I think all of Nebraska already has wheat, except the Walmart parking lot in northern Omaha. It's only partly planted in wheat. :)

4H is your friend in farming areas: http://oklahoma4h.okstate.edu/aitc/lessons/extras/facts/wheat.html

NOAA has historical weather, Weather Underground as well and there's always Weather.com.

Jeff

Dennis E. Taylor
08-15-2014, 04:39 AM
Finding a piece of arable land in Nebraska that has never been cultivated would be the hard part. Do you have a particular part of the state in mind?

This version of Nebraska has never had people. Which makes it only theoretically Nebraska, I guess. But it's the "same", climate and soil wise.

Dennis E. Taylor
08-15-2014, 04:41 AM
I think all of Nebraska already has wheat, except the Walmart parking lot in northern Omaha. It's only partly planted in wheat. :)

4H is your friend in farming areas: http://oklahoma4h.okstate.edu/aitc/lessons/extras/facts/wheat.html

NOAA has historical weather, Weather Underground as well and there's always Weather.com.

Jeff

Thanks, that's very helpful.

Nope, those harvester thingies will not fit through the gate. :ROFL:

Dennis E. Taylor
08-15-2014, 04:47 AM
Oh, crap. You have to plant it in summer for next year. My character should know this.

obviously I didn't.

benbenberi
08-15-2014, 04:49 AM
To cultivate virgin ground in pseudo-Nebraska, you'd probably need some serious sod-busting equipment. And for most of the state, probably some serious irrigation. As I recall from cross-country flights, it's over Nebraska that you make the transition from square fields to circular ones (from pivot-irrigation).

And avoid the sand-hills.

RN Hill
08-15-2014, 06:15 AM
Couple of things to keep in mind (I live in Kansas, so fairly similar):

Yes, wheat grows in Nebraska. But there are several different varieties that grow there; they are planted at different times. And most are hybrid varieties that have been developed in the past 120 years or so. So if this is set in the past, take that into account -- you may want to research farming techniques and practices (and equipment) circa that time frame as well.

Prairie grasses often have roots that are 12" or more deep, so that's why it wasn't until iron plows came west that it could be cultivated with any success.

Jacket and gloves cold? Definitely by mid-to-late October; they tend to get earlier freezes than we do here. Maybe even late September, if there was an early cold snap.

King Neptune
08-15-2014, 04:33 PM
This version of Nebraska has never had people. Which makes it only theoretically Nebraska, I guess. But it's the "same", climate and soil wise.

Wheat is fairly easy, but, as others have noted, plowing the soil for the first time would be a pain. Try burning it first.


Oh, crap. You have to plant it in summer for next year. My character should know this.

Summer wheat is planted in the Spring and harvested in the late Summer.

As for when one would need warm clothes depends mostly on the individual.

Dennis E. Taylor
08-15-2014, 07:05 PM
Summer wheat is planted in the Spring and harvested in the late Summer.


OK, thanks. According to the timeline I've already established, it's too late in the summer/early fall to plant for tillers (pretty sure that's the term), so I'll have to wait for next spring.

FWIW, the people have access to modern farming tech, although as mentioned their gate isn't big enough to get anything bigger than a hummer through.

Cranky
08-15-2014, 07:16 PM
My late grandfather was an agronomist for the Soil Conservation Service both in South Dakota and Nebraska (and very, very good at what he did)...I know he'd be able to answer your questions with ease. Sadly, I am not him, so I can only affirm what you've already been told.

I'll also confirm that jacket and gloves weather can start around mid-October. Heavier coats, hats and gloves by mid-November at the latest.

Christabelle
08-15-2014, 08:41 PM
Read Cather! Read Cather! Read Cather! (okay, I'm just a little biased)

Wheat is one of the main crops. And winter is cold!