Other than the very heavy late August rain event, this later summer early fall has been fairly dry. For the dry land winter wheat on the east side of the Cascades there was enough rain in August to get the wheat started. But the dry weather since has left some fields or parts of fields fully green and still partly dry. That was in evidence as the wind kicked up on Saturday at this central Washington site.
Overall though conditions were not bad with the dust blow up in this area being limited to a bit of a low area that perhaps had had a bit less rain and was a bit warmer. Hence, a rather rare event of seeing dust blowing up into the sky but with overall clear conditions. It also helped that we were upwind of the dust - much better than being down wind. Dust storms do happen in eastern Washington, but the frequency has become less with improved farming practices.
This area of dry land wheat farming is winter wheat only. The wheat begins growth ideally in September and is well established by the time cold weather arrives and then finishes growth in the spring with harvest in the summer. After harvest the fields harvested are left fallow for a year to allow moisture to build back up. At wetter areas to the north and east of this site plantings may take place every year and may be rotated with nitrogen fixing crops.