Nicole Berg wades into her stunted wheat field.
It’s so short and sparse, she doesn’t think the combine can even reach the wheat without eating rocks.
“Combines don’t like dirt and rocks,” Berg says. “They get indigestion.”
Berg is a dryland wheat farmer in the sweeping Horse Heaven Hills of south-eastern Washington. She shows off one head of half-turned golden wheat amid a sea of them. Besides being too short, the plant’s kernels didn’t fill out properly.