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Author Archives: Janel Schemper

Janel: Blue header time – yea!
Janel Schemper

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.

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Janel: I LOVE the Kansas wheat harvest
Janel Schemper

Pratt, Kansas – I love the Kansas wheat harvest and for so many reasons! Wheat harvest in Kansas feels like sweet summertime to me. I have so many harvesting memories in the Wheat State. Kansas is one of my favorite places to be and to harvest wheat. Honestly, the White House should be in western Kansas. Everyone here just loves President Donald Trump, or at least that’s all I hear. It’s so peaceful and beautiful out here. All of the people I know from Kansas are just genuinely friendly and really good people, and some are my favorites in the world. Yes, western Kansas is the place to be especially at wheat harvest time. Everywhere you look, it’s all golden. 

We’ve been harvesting full blast the past few days here in the Pratt, Kansas area, and it feels good. The wheat has been yielding well. The ground conditions have been dry and the humidity during the day has been under 50 percent, which means the wheat is drying and the cutting conditions are on point. We have been on the edge of a couple of storms lately, but we haven’t had much rain. So luckily, we just keep cutting wheat. Continue Reading

Janel: For one second I thought Moo went hog wild
Janel Schemper

Pratt, Kansas – I just spent two days getting equipment moved from the Weatherford, Oklahoma area up to the Pratt, Kansas area; and on the way I saw combines cutting everywhere along the highways we traveled. Most were custom harvesters but some were farmers, and a few looked to be like farmers helping farmers. For the most part, the ground conditions looked dry, but on the Oklahoma/Kansas border I saw that there were a few fields that got tracked up really pretty badly. Wheat was left uncut in the fields, because the ground would not hold the combine up. Getting stuck is no fun, so they left it for another day when the ground will be drier. We did get caught back up to the harvest at Pratt, where the wheat is just borderline ready. The highway is full of combines too. The harvesters keep coming through Pratt loaded up and heading north. I’m sure wheat harvest here will be in full swing in just a day or two, depending on what the weather does.   Continue Reading

Janel: Oklahoma Wheat Harvest Report
Janel Schemper

Weatherford, Oklahoma – What a relief it is to have our second trip south for wheat harvest accomplished! On the trip south from Nebraska to Oklahoma (400-plus miles) I drove a truck and hauled a combine and a grain trailer.  It was a fairly simple trip besides having to travel over a few rough railroad tracks, bumpy bridges and narrow roads but we made it without having any blown out tires!  That is a good day!  We did drive thru Great Bend, Kansas while it was raining cats and dogs and it hailed for a minute or two as well.  Other than that, the sun was shining and overall we had a good trip south for wheat harvest. Continue Reading

Janel: Trip #1 Is Accomplished
Janel Schemper

Holdrege, Nebraska – I got a call from Dad at 6:00 a.m. saying, “Are you ready to go?” Yes, sure, I’m on my way! I’ll be there in a minute. I got to the shop and Dad says to me, “Do you want to drive that truck and haul the combine?” Yes! Of course I do! And away we went.

Overall, we had a good day. The sun was shining and there was hardly any wind. What I saw on my 400-plus mile trip south was that Kansas has a good wheat crop. Oklahoma looked alright too. Some might make 30 to 40 bushels per acre, and that is good. They grazed the wheat too, so a 30-plus bushel crop is good. I also saw quite a bit of standing water in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma. Hot air and wind will hopefully dry up the fields in time for harvest. If not, dealing with muddy conditions is sometimes just part of it. Continue Reading

Janel: Miss Moo And I Have New Wheels
Janel Schemper

Holdrege, Nebraska – Holy cow!  It’s springtime already, and there are no more days off.  Harvest is quickly approaching, and there is so much to do and so little time.  It’s always a stressful time of year trying to get everything ready for harvest.  I certainly have feelings of not only stress but also fear and anxiety during this time of year due to having to hire the crew too.  I have been going on harvest my entire life.  However, it’s a big job getting ready for harvest – no doubt about it.  I am blessed though because of who I get to go to harvest with!  No joke. Continue Reading

Janel: Wheat Harvest Is My Summer Routine
Janel Schemper


Holdrege, Nebraska – Hello!  I am Janel Schemper and this is my first AAWH blog.  I am a third generation custom harvester.  I’ve been going on harvest my entire life.  The 1950s was the start of my family business known as “Schemper Harvesting.”  My grandpa, Jerry Schemper, was brave enough to leave his farm and went out on the road and made himself a living in the custom harvesting business.  My Dad, LaVern Schemper, is the oldest of six kids and is a second generation custom harvester.  I have a lifelong bond with my parents (LaVern and Carlene) and three older siblings (Julie, JC and Jared) through our family business.  The combine cab was where I spent my time with my Dad or siblings riding along with them and learned all about operating a combine.  Continue Reading