All Aboard Harvest | Janel: Blue header time – yea!
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Janel: Blue header time – yea!

Janel: Blue header time – yea!

Dodge City, Kansas – I love this time of year. I get to use my blue Shelbourne Reynolds header for wheat harvest at two of our stops here in Kansas.  A stripper header is annoyingly expensive but is fun to run. I love blue header time.   When I began harvesting with a Shelbourne Reynolds header 5-plus years ago, I was not happy about it. I just kept thinking about the added machinery expense and operation cost. The custom harvesting business has big risks and having another header to harvest wheat seemed so silly to me. Also, the government doesn’t have a program to insure our costs. There is no government program for the custom harvesting business. Also, learning to operate “another” piece of machinery just seemed ridiculous. However, my attitude changed very quickly, and it’s a super header to operate. My combine never runs out of horsepower having a blue header in front of it. There are many advantages with using a blue header, but I’ll discuss more at another time. It’s a whole different concept.

We’ve been harvesting for two days here in the Dodge City, Kansas area, and the yields have been 50 to 70 bushels per acre with 61-plus test weights- so far so good! We are cutting white wheat, and it’s a beautiful crop this year.  It’s still standing, and that’s something to be thankful for as a combine operator. 

I’ve wanted to share my “The American Harvest” poem that I wrote over a year ago, but I’ve been waiting for the perfect time. Today is the day in honor of my dad’s birthday (06/22). I’d like to dedicate this poem to my dad, LaVern Schemper. He’s been a harvester forever, and we almost always celebrate his birthday cutting wheat somewhere in Kansas. Cutting wheat on this day is his birthday wish every single year (just ask him). I’ve gotten to live my life as a harvester because of him, and he has taught me all about the custom-harvesting business as well as dedication, honesty, responsibility, patience, work ethic, kindness, business professionalism and the list goes on and on!  He has been an excellent role model and has trained a lot of employees over the years. He has done a lot of good for others.  He is also a veteran that served our country in the late 1960s. Happy birthday dear ole DAD! You’re my favorite person and harvester in the world. I wouldn’t ever go to harvest with anyone else.

 

The American Harvest

Hey, good morning, we better get to work.

As they say, time is money

Harvest is finally here and we’re so glad

But when it’s over we won’t be sad.

 

We’ve got a beautiful day for harvesting

Combine dust is flying in the breeze

Two-way talk is keeping everyone at ease

The trucker’s special today is load and go

We are working hours of hard labor with no guarantees, don’t you know.

We have to keep on working ‘til it’s time to shut down

We’ll fill the trucks up for the night after the elevator closes in town

We’re walking the tight rope between risk and reward

We often have to take time to thank the Good Lord.

Business is about again and again coming back

We’ve got three generations in this field and they know how to stay on track

So we have to keep the big wheels rockin’ and rollin’.

 

We invest and spend a lot of time on a maybe,

Money is on the line and of course there is rain coming baby.

Weather’s going to strike and put a wrench in our plans

Opportunity comes with risk but we know it’s in God’s hands.

It’s the age-old cycle of the American Harvest,

We are up before the sun and we have to work the hardest

In order to get the job done, timing is everything

I believe in hope and the changes it can bring

Come winter, fall, summer or spring.

We have to work all year; we just hope we end up with some money

Year after year of harvesting, with no rest in sight, you’ve got to learn to be funny.

What you’re born with is what you get

I love the sight of a harvest sunset

We know the importance of keeping the world fed

We’re motivated to win, like we haven’t won yet

And these are the days we’ll never forget

If you think my poem-writing skills are good, you should see my songwriting. I’m looking for not only a poem publishing deal, but also a songwriting publishing deal. Someday soon I’ll Git-R-Done!   

 

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

My sleeping beauty. Miss Moo, sweet dreams darling girl. (Photo by Carlene Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

Miss Moo sleeping in the combine seat again. She’s an angel dog. (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

Just Livin’ the Dream! (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

I hauled the combine and header from Pratt to the Dodge City area (aka the wild wild west). (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

See my friend in the wheat! I think he was sleeping right there, and I woke him up. (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

An antelope right in front of the combine in the wheat field. I think I woke him up from his mid-morning nap. Sorry, buddy! (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

My blue header. An XCV 36 Shelbourne Reynolds. (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

If it’s not one thing, it’s another. There’s something going wrong every day lately. A coon messed with my wires. No thanks. (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

Blue header time is in full swing. (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

Blue header time. (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

Harvest in full swing. (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

Harvesting wheat in the Wheat State. The combine operator is Lonny Schemper. (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

Just finished harvesting a field of white wheat. (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

Harvesting wheat along a terrace channel full of water in places. (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

A storm was slowly approaching. We didn’t get much rain but had thunder and lightning. Maggie Moo and her sister, Baylor Bee, were both acting scared and ran to the pickup as fast as they could after we shut down for the evening. (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

We had a few too many raindrops and had to shut down early for the evening. (Photo by Janel Schemper)

Schemper 2017 - Kansas Wheat Harvest

We had a few too many raindrops and had to shut down early for the evening. (Photo by Janel Schemper)

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Janel Schemper can be reached at janel@allaboardharvest.com.

6 Comments
  • Sharon and Harry Drake
    Posted at 23:10h, 22 June

    Janel, I am Sharon Drake, from Winfield, Ks. 5 miles north of the Oklahoma border. I think harvest is over or almost. Not sure numbers,but from what we hear was a good crop.
    In my family when I was growing up, June was not only wheat, but hay of Alfalfa, wheat straw bales and oat bales. My parents anniversary, Dad’s birthday was always celebrated in the field. Loved that time of summer.
    Thank you for sharing your family and work along the way. You are very good at poetry. I hope you have that poem saved for future generations. Be careful. Sharon Drake

  • Michael harris
    Posted at 00:04h, 23 June

    wow beautiful poem!looking forward on the article on the stripper header when your up to it. please & thanks

  • hussein
    Posted at 02:20h, 23 June

    Hi, why you are using this header?

  • Norm Rotruck
    Posted at 08:51h, 24 June

    Hi! I’m interested in this header also, and how it works. Please and thanks!

  • Tom Stegmeier
    Posted at 18:23h, 24 June

    Thanks so much to take time to post those great pics , good here the headers are in some high yielding/good bushel weight wheat.Love the pic of Miss Moo & your boots !!