Kansas wheat.Photo: Brian McGuirkMy father farmed in Kansas and envied those lucky farmers in the wetter states to the east of us, who could grow 200-bushel corn and other lucrative crops like soy beans and sugar beets. He had to satisfy himself with wheat, a drought-tolerant crop first brought to the States from a place in Russia much like ours. There, they called such arid places "steppes." Here, we called them "plains." To look at the pale-green buffalo grass that covered the High Plains, you would never suspect that an aquifer holding as much water as Lake Huron lay beneath. …
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Julene Bair is a farmer's daughter who went rogue. She is the author of One Degree West: Reflections of a Plainsdaughter and is putting the finishing touches on a memoir, Ogallala: A Story of Land, Love, Water, and Loss. Learn more on her website.
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