Sept. 25: I’ve been office bound for the past two weeks, giving aid and comfort to my wife who is recovering from having a titanium right shoulder installed to match the left one she had put in last year about this time.

She’s doing well, thank you.

We were both happy to get out and about last weekend and make a little jaunt up to Kansas City for my nephew’s wedding reception. The wedding was last May somewhere in the Bahamas, so this was the first time I got to meet the bride. I approve.

But, being the quintessential company man, I couldn’t turn my mind off Farm Press matters for long so I took note of the scenery on our drive through North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Interstate 35 runs through quite a bit of farm country between here and Kansas City.

It had been several weeks since I had driven through much of anything except Dallas area traffic so I was a bit surprised at the changes a fortnight can make. It has rained. Pastures have greened up considerably. Wheat seedlings are poking through the soil, stock tanks are beginning to accumulate little puddles of water.

I still saw some sorry-looking cotton and fields of corn that had been either harvested with insurance strips left standing. A few soybean fields looked as if they would produce no more than a few bushels per acre but some promised decent yields. I noticed the farther north we drove, the better the cropland seemed. I saw one small cotton field in southern Kansas that looked like bale-per-acre cotton. It was short but seemed to have weathered the summer fairly well.

Kansas farmers also look to make pretty decent soybean, corn and grain sorghum yields. A few soybean fields looked to be hard hit by drought but more seemed to be holding up well. A few had been cut, some were standing golden in the fall sunshine, waiting for a combine. And, closer to Kansas City, fields remained green and weeks away from maturity.

Now, this is in no way an official crop report. Bear in mind that these observations include only a fraction of the farm land in three states and were made at approximately 75 miles an hour from I-35.

The point is conditions seem better than they did three weeks ago. And that’s not to say, either, that the long drought is over. It’s not. We need a lot more rain and for an extended period of time to make up for all the moisture we’ve missed for the past 18 months.

But it was good to see cattle munching on green grass and to notice cropland that promised more than an insurance check.

e-mail: rsmith@farmpress.com