Gibault alfalfa field yields first crop - Republic-Times | News

Gibault alfalfa field yields first crop

By on September 5, 2018 at 3:06 pm

Gibault High School students removed two types of ragweed from their alfalfa field last week prior to harvesting its first crop. Pictured, front row, from left, are Ian Metcalf, Mark Branz and Seth Berenz; back row: Lace Brandenburg, Lucas Herrmann, Will Janson, Ryan Swindle, Ryan Kruse and Liam Brauer. (submitted photo)

After months of hard work and waiting that included a failed crop, Gibault Catholic High School had its first cutting from its alfalfa field last week. 

The first harvest yielded 3.5 bushels of alfalfa hay.    

Two farmers near Hecker cut, raked and baled the alfalfa.  

Plans to plant the plot with alfalfa came together last August. Steve Wilke approached the school with the idea after he planted grass on land next to his business.

The appropriate stakeholders at Gibault agreed a crop would be better than the dozen cedar trees that were in the field.

“We figured it would help free up staff and personnel here to do other things,” Gibault science and agriculture instructor Greg Wiegand said. “We also hope it’s going to generate a fairly decent revenue over the next few years and help the school out with other activities and such.”

Employees of Wm. Nobbe & Co. then came and prepared the ground for the seeds. Over Labor Day weekend in 2017, members of the Gibault Men’s Club, including Wilke, then sowed the field. Lastly, a Gibault alumni who is a farmer and has a son at the school came and ensured better soil to seed contact.

Despite all that effort, the first crop did not bear fruit. 

“Due to the drought conditions, the first crop really didn’t take,” said Wiegand, who is also Gibault’s FFA adviser. “That’s why it took until this past week to finally get our first cutting. So the first crop really wasn’t that successful…>>>

Read more about Gibault’s first successful alfalfa crop as part of the school’s burgeoning FFA program in the September 5, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times newspaper.

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James Moss