Fall brought high wheat prices as well as cool weather, and prices has stayed high through the winter.  This means that hay-field owners now have a great opportunity to get their fields replanted and a new stand established.  Many fields have been in hay for years, and are in need of some fresh life, and rotating wheat in for a year totally revitalises the ground, getting it ready for years of productive hay growth. 

Wheat brings back trace minerals that have been sucked from the ground by years of grass.  Also, all the pesky weeds and native grasses that have crept in over the years are removed with the plowing and the dense, tall wheat crop.  Planting wheat also greatly reduces the gopher population, which perhaps is the greatest benefit if your field is covered in gopher mounds.  A rotation of spring wheat this year, followed with winter wheat planted this coming fall means that in about a year and a half you would have a brand new hay crop without any field renovation cost. 

Growing wheat is complicated business.  Lining up a custom harvester or buying a combine is costly, as well as getting the dirt equipment needed to tear out the old hay stands.  It pays if you have a large amount of hay fields, but for small acreage it makes sense to have a farmer come in and do it for you.  They most likely won’t pay you rent, but the value they provide by replanting your fields is much higher than one or two years worth of rent.   Replanting hay fields usually cost at least $300 an acre to have someone do it for you, so essentially you are getting $300 per acre rent. 

If you are interested in having someone put wheat in your field, contact me.  I am looking for acres to put in wheat  around Tumalo, and I think it is a win win for everyone.