I write this while the fires rage in Montana and Texas recovers from Hurricane Harvey. Farming and ranching is subject to so many elements that we cannnot control.

Here in Hamilton County, we had beautiful rains all summer and our crops are good! Dryland farming in the High Plains of western Kansas is hard. We went from almost too wet to plant because the ground wouldn't support the farm equipment to too dry to get a stand in a matter of four days. We had five inches of rain in five hours and was able to grab a quick camping trip when we would normally be dealing with weed control.

You have to take advantage of the windows. The window to plant, the window to spray, the window to escape and the window to play.

This year we raised our first dryland soybean crop, and it is really doing well! And I feel guilty about it because others are suffering.

Yet, most years are not this good for us. Prices are low and costs are high. Rains are sparse. Drought is common. Wheat streak mosaic tore through our wheat crop this year. You may ask why we continue to plant wheat. We keep wheat in our rotation because the wheat stubble is invaluable in moisture conservation. The corn is eight feet tall and the milo is chest high. Some nitrogen deficiency exists as the rains came in before we could add any on. If the hard freeze comes at the right time and the high winds and hail miss us, it could be a good year.

We are planting wheat late this year and taking care of our volunteer wheat to help avoid mosaic. But there are no guarantees.

I am praying today for all those who are losing everything right now in Montana and Texas. We understand the severity of weather!

Writer and photographer Michele Boy is a transplanted New Yorker living with her husband and young daughter on their Hamilton County farm.