All Aboard Harvest | Emma: Crossing off Andale, Kansas
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Emma: Crossing off Andale, Kansas

Emma: Crossing off Andale, Kansas

Another stop has been crossed off the Misener Family Harvesters list. Andale, Kan., is now complete despite Mother Nature’s attempts to keep us here in south central Kansas.

The average bushels per acre was 40, and that is pretty good wheat. The double-cropped fields were not as good at 15 bushels per acre. I had high expectations based on my first impression of the wheat in this area, but it turned out to be quite different. I’m not saying it was a horrible crop, because this wheat did great – but the rain must have came in the nick of time. The picture below will show you the difference between the good wheat and what was double-cropped.

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The wheat on the  bottom picture (or to your left) is double-cropped field. The wheat I am combining only stands about boot high and is very, very thin. This field was thick with weeds and that made the moisture percentage about 17. The wheat on top (to your right) was the good wheat that stood about two to three times higher than the double-cropped. The yield was almost doubled and it’s moisture was only 10 percent.

In this particular field we tried to blend the wheat. This means we try and mix both kinds together in order to balance out the moisture. This technique yielded an average moisture of 11.3 percent, 60 pound test weight and 14 percent protein. In this area elevators are testing for protein and it has been pretty good.

We have had to go through some pretty tight obstacles and terrain to get to the fields we’re harvesting. Here’s some interesting pictures.
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This doesn’t do it nearly the justice it deserves, but within 100 feet we dropped probably 14 to15 feet.

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At the bottom of this steep slope there is a narrow culvert about 14 feet wide. Then a sharp turn to the left.

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Unloading after the field is complete.

We had some “excitement” this past week in a small fire. We are literally cutting on the ground to pick up the double-cropped wheat and it puts a strain on our cutting systems. We have converted to a SCH Drive and have had fantastic luck in the five years we’ve been using it. We rarely have one do what I’m about to show you – and by rarely, I mean never.

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The bearing that drives the sickle went out causing friction. With all of the chaff build-up around these moving parts it only takes an instant to catch fire. On the right by the springs, you can see the now burnt and black chaff caused by the fire.

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Joel told us on the radio that he had smoke and that he was getting out. As soon as we’re told of a possible fire it is mandatory that Dan and I stop cutting immediately and come to their aid. As soon as we hear the words, smoke, fire, burnt or hot smell, we’re right there. I happened to get there first to find that Joel had already gotten the fire extinguisher out and was fighting the fire. That’s where I took over putting the remainder of the fire out while Joel went after another extinguisher.

We had about five inch flames going from the outside of the header to the inside of the header burning all the chaff it could. We managed to get the fire out in a timely manner and thankfully it didn’t spread to the field. We had no major damage and just replaced the bearing head and away we went again. This is another reason being prepared pays off.

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Joel and I posing after fighting the fire.I smelled like smoke for the rest of the day and was ready to wash all the ashes off as soon as I got home. Thanks for taking the picture Dan. If we were not prepared for these types of situations it could have turned out very differently. Thanks to Joel keeping a cool head in this stressful situation we were able to avoid a disaster.

I was thankful we could end in Andale on a good note. The second to last field was great. Here are some pictures of us making rounds. We had enough drivers with all of our recent visitors so I could take some pictures. Thanks everyone!

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Dan in the lead combine, Joel in the second, and Sam (that came to visit) in the third.

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This picture is one of my favorites so far for the 2011 Wheat Harvest. I love how you can faintly see one of those green machines with a whole bunch of dust coming out of the back end.

Be safe and God bless!

Emma can be reached at emma@allaboardharvest.com. All Aboard 2011 is sponsored by High Plains Journal and DuPont Crop Protection.

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2 Comments
  • Tracy
    Posted at 00:36h, 28 June

    Tell Dan it’s time to invest in that stuff they were talking about at the safety meeting for fire extinguishers 🙂 Just glad it turned out as well as it did for you guys!! Be safe.

    • N Mausolf
      Posted at 18:27h, 28 June

      You have just discovered your new occupation for the off season…firefighters