High Plains Journal All Aboard Wheat Harvest


Author Archives: Janel Schemper

Janel: Nebraska Soybeans and Wet Corn
Janel Schemper

Holdrege, Nebraska – I love this time of year.  Fall is wonderful! Typically, we just work all day every day which is pretty much my favorite thing to do in my life! It’s just easier to go to work. I am happy working and feel my best when I’m harvesting full blast (I think this is true for all harvesters). 

We began cutting soybeans in mid-September and had a good start. Now, this fall harvest has been delayed because we’ve had rain.  We had a three inch rain about ten days ago and that kept me out of the field for three days. I got to harvest five days since and then we just recently had a couple more inches of rain. The forecast this week includes lots of big chances of more rain. I know our customers want their crops harvested and trust us that we do our very best to accomodate. We want to get everyone’s crops harvested as soon as possible. We do understand! This rain is certainly putting us behind schedule.

The soybean yields have been good. The crops in this area are typically irrigated either by pivot or gravity irrigation. The pivot corners may be dryland. However, the pivot corners can be gravity irrigated as well or a swing tower pivot can irrigate most of a typical pivot corner. I did harvest a quarter of soybeans with four dryland corners that yielded 80 plus bushels per acre. The dryland corners are decent this year due to timely rains during the growing season. In fact, it’s been difficult to cut the corners separate if necessary because they look just as good as the irrigated in most fields. 

I have also harvested wet corn this fall and that is a young man’s game. The irrigated corn yields are typically high but this requires a lot of people to get involved aka manpower. One combine can keep busy two tractor grain carts and four trucks. It’s busy business that is for sure. I do enjoy it regardless! The wet corn moisture was 30 percent and the yield was high. 

I’ve recently read my all aboard harvest emails and have gotten so many thanking me for my summer harvest reports and now requesting fall harvest reports and photos. Your wish is coming true! I’m happy to share my fall harvest photos too! It’s such a pretty time of year. I also had emails asking where Moo was at because I didn’t include any pictures of Moo in my last post. Moo is always with me and she keeps me laughing!
I have a funny story about Miss Moo. Four Holdrege FFA girls brought out lunch to our field on Saturday. There was an extra sandwich and I won’t let good food go to waste and so I let Moo have it all! It was a 6-inch turkey and cheese sub sandwich. Moo was so sleepy the rest of the day and slept so much. Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan that makes people sleepy. Well, it was working well for Moo. I opened a bag of chips a few hours later while combining and she always wants what I’m having. This time she didn’t even hardly wake up. She was sleeping on the floor of the combine cab and I was trying to give her a chip and she was so sleepy she barely opened her eyes and just had no interest in a potato chip. I certainly do believe the myth that turkey makes you sleepy! Moo demonstrated just that! 

I hope you all are enjoying fall. To me, fall is all about lots and lots of harvesting, husker football on the radio on Saturday’s and high school volleyball (Sierra, Samantha and Sabrina are all playing volleyball this fall)! Fall is a great season no doubt about it!

Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Our harvest mood captured in a photo! Miss Moo and I harvesting soybeans in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Moo and I harvesting soybeans in Nebraska in September. This is our typical harvest mood! We love it! (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Moo sleeps so peacefully in the combine until the header and rotor is shut off then she’s awake. Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
We both love AutoTrac! Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in mid-September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in mid-September. The combine operator is Jared Schemper. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
This is my kind of day! I love picking corn! Schemper Harvesting picking wet corn in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
I got to go to Samantha Schemper’s volleyball game! She’s a freshman and is a great volleyball player! Sawyer Schemper cheers for her at the games! He says, “go #1, go Sam!” Schemper Harvesting had a rain delay so I got to enjoy Sam’s away game at the new gym in Minden. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
This was a truck wash kind of day! Schemper Harvesting was delayed due to a 3 inch rain in Nebraska in September so we keep busy doing shop work. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Moo gets the best naps of a lifetime in the combine cab! Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in mid-September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Moo is so wonderful! We were driving Jared’s truck to his field! (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Seriously, what a cute little boy! Sterling Schemper is 2 and loves field time! Schemper Harvesting picking wet corn in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Sterling loves field time and so does Moo! Schemper Harvesting picking wet corn in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting picking wet corn in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting picking wet corn in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Sterling enjoying field time! Schemper Harvesting picking wet corn in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting picking wet corn in Nebraska in September. The combine operator is Lonny Schemper. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in September. The combine operator is LaVern Schemper. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
My mom has too much fun at the shop! Sage and Sterling having fun with Grandma Carlene Schemper! (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in October. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in October. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in October. Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in October. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
I dislike it when this happens. I was pulling weeds off the draper belt and sickle and then this happened. Ouch! Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in October. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Sterling and I enjoying combine time together! Schemper Harvesting picking wet corn in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting picking wet corn in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
This is the yummy turkey and cheese sub sandwich Moo loved having for lunch one day in the field! Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Carlene Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in mid-September. (Photo by Carlene Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Joe and Jack Ridder rode in the combine one evening with Janel. This was Jack’s first ever combine ride! Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Carlene Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Jared Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Samantha Schemper was running combine #3 on a Sunday! Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in October.  She’s got combine goals!!  #combinegoals (Photo by Jared Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Fall Harvest
Samantha Schemper was running combine #3 on a Saturday!  Schemper Harvesting cutting soybeans in Nebraska in September. (Photo by Jared Schemper)

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. You can contact Janel at janel@allaboardharvest.com

Janel: North Dakota Didn’t Disappoint
Janel Schemper

Holdrege, Nebraska – We finished harvesting spring wheat and canola in the northeastern North Dakota area just recently. We had harvest weather and put in some good long days of harvesting. It was good and went fast because the weather held!  I enjoyed every single second of it as I love the North Dakota harvest dearly.

We used our pick-up headers to harvest canola. We also cut canola and spring wheat with our MacDon headers. Everything went pretty well. The yields were good and for the first time all harvest, it finally felt like what harvest is supposed to be like!  It was super busy with a clear forecast! We started early in the mornings and worked late into the evenings.  It was just the way I like harvest to be.  We had meals in the field and the equipment and trucks were busy due to high yielding wheat and canola. I was very happy with the acres we did get to harvest. The farmers we work for are absolutely great people and are always very much appreciated. I love harvesting wheat and canola so much in North Dakota that I wished we could have stayed longer and had about another 7 to 10 days of harvest work to do. Canola is one of my favorite crops to harvest.  The scenery is beautiful and the fields are nice in North Dakota. The month of August in North Dakota was dry overall and so there was no mud to deal with, which was a plus. I always look forward to getting to North Dakota and putting in some big days of harvesting and that is just what we got this year. I was sad to have to leave so soon but again the weather was great and we got the crops harvested quickly.

I spent four days traveling from North Dakota to home in Nebraska for our fall harvest. We had a decent trip home but we fought the wind for the majority of the trip. The wind was really terrible one day of the trip home. I myself had to back track for equipment three times. I’m happy to be home now and thankful for a safe trip.  Each year it’s always a stressful one.

Overall, the 2017 summer harvest was the most unusual harvest I’ve experienced yet. I didn’t get to start at our first stop on our harvest route because the wheat acres were short and yields were low.  There were times where we were super busy this summer and then times where all at once we weren’t. There were many harvest ups and downs. I’m ready for fall harvest and will soon be looking forward to the 2018 wheat harvest.

Our entire crew is home now and we’re all getting ready for soybean and corn harvest. I’d like to write another blog or two on soybeans and corn but I’m not for sure if I’ll have a chance to accomplish that but for now I’d like to say thank you to all of the All Aboard Wheat Harvest followers.  I am very happy with High Plains Journal and thankful for this opportunity to share my harvest life through writing and photography. I have certainly appreciated and enjoyed this journey. I am very proud of agribusiness and this beautiful country. The American wheat harvest is amazing to me as well as American agriculture. I’d like to thank our primary partners, John Deere and High Plains Journal, as well as other partners of AAWH including: ITC, Syngenta’s Agri Pro Division, Unverferth, and Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children. 

I’d like to give a special shout out to my parents, LaVern and Carlene Schemper, today is their 44th wedding anniversary!

Thanks again All Aboard Wheat Harvest followers, High Plains Journal and sponsors. Have a great fall! 

Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting canola in North Dakota. Lonny Schemper is the combine operator. I love harvesting this field. The scenery is beautiful all the way around the field! (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
This is canola seed. The seed is crushed and oil is extracted. The oil is used for cooking! #canolaoil (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting canola in North Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting wheat in North Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting wheat in North Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting canola in North Dakota. (Photo by Jared Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
I love my combine shadow! Schemper Harvesting cutting canola in North Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting picking up canola in North Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting wheat in North Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting canola in North Dakota. The combine operator is JC Schemper. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting canola in North Dakota. Amazing fall colors are just beginning and I enjoy the beautiful scenery as usual in North Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting canola in North Dakota. The combine operator is JC Schemper and the tractor grain cart operator is Dennis. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting wheat in North Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting canola in North Dakota. The combine operator is JC Schemper. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting canola in North Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting finished up on wheat in North Dakota in mid-September. (Photo by Jared Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Schemper Harvesting loaded up and on the road going south for fall harvest. Here we were stopped for a quick lunch break. LaVern Schemper is pictured here. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 Eastern North Dakota Harvest
Four days of traveling from North Dakota to home and I was thankful for a safe trip home. It’s always a stressful one. (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.

Janel: Legendary Jamestown, North Dakota
Janel Schemper

Jamestown, North Dakota – This Jamestown, North Dakota farm we are currently on is “almost” like home sweet home and has become a special place to me as we’ve been coming here since 1989.  This farm family is one amazing farm family.  I really appreciate all of them and getting to visit with them when we are here harvesting.  I went home to Nebraska for school from this farm many times.  When I think about all of the harvest memories I have here it’s just a big ol reminder of how time flies.  I can remember riding in the combine here with my sister and falling asleep in the buddy seat and also riding in the truck with my mom and hauling all of the loads of spring wheat and barley to grain bins on the farm.  This past year my mom found a picture of me running combine and on the back of the picture it said, “Jamestown, North Dakota 1994.”  I wasn’t even a teenager yet and I could run a combine all by myself!  It’s all amazing to me at how time really does just fly by!

I’ve been told it’s a drought year here but all of the crops look good to me. We have been cutting spring wheat and the yields have been in the 55 to 65 bushels per acre range, the test weights have been 60 plus and the protein has been good at 15 and 16 percent.  The wheat was not sprayed and the grain wasn’t too dry.  Almost every load was 15 percent moisture or higher.  The cutting conditions have been rather tough as well.  Howard Hale called me while I was out cutting wheat and we discussed the low wheat acres, high row crop acres and the cutting conditions.  I always enjoy getting a call from Howard Hale for a Harvest USA report.  I listen to his morning and afternoon programs almost daily.

However, our run here was short because there just aren’t that many wheat acres here anymore. Almost everything is planted to corn and soybeans.  I can remember when everything in the Jamestown area was spring wheat and barley and every acre was windrowed.  I can’t believe how things have changed so much.  We’ll finish up and get moved up to the Grand Forks, North Dakota area and harvest spring wheat and canola.  The forecast looks sunny for 10 days so hopefully just maybe we can have a good run at our next and last stop on our wheat harvest run! 

Schemper 2017 - North Dakota Wheat Harvest
Just look at those beautiful North Dakota colors! (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - North Dakota Wheat Harvest
A beautiful day of harvesting spring wheat near Jamestown, North Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - North Dakota Wheat Harvest
Wheat is my favorite North Dakota crop. This year there is so much corn planted here. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - North Dakota Wheat Harvest
My brother Jared Schemper has been driving truck lately hauling grain from the field to the elevator. I like it better though when he is in his combine in the field. I enjoy harvesting crops with him because he is the best combine operator. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - North Dakota Wheat Harvest
It’s a drought year and this wheat field still produced 65 bushel spring wheat! (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - North Dakota Wheat Harvest
These are lentils. Jared Schemper brought me a sample of lentils from Montana.  Lentils look like certs and are as soft as silk. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - North Dakota Wheat Harvest
These are chickpeas. Jared Schemper brought me a sample of chickpeas from Montana. I think they look like mini pumpkins. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - North Dakota Wheat Harvest
Harvesting spring wheat on a cloudy day in North Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - North Dakota Wheat Harvest
Harvesting spring wheat on a cloudy day in North Dakota. The combine operator is LaVern Schemper. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - North Dakota Wheat Harvest
Harvesting spring wheat on a cloudy day in North Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - North Dakota Wheat Harvest
I love this time of day! Combine shadows followed by a sunset! (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - North Dakota Wheat Harvest
I can remember harvesting this field when I was 12 years old. It was planted to barley and was making nearly 100 bushels an acre. We had three combines and the combine operators were JC, Jared and me. I remember we had everything full and were sitting there waiting on a truck to come back to the field. It was mid-August and it was just about time for us to go back home to Nebraska for school. I remember JC and Jared having a conversation about being concerned about what Dad was going to do for help since we were leaving for school. Jared was 15 and was excited to get back home for football and I loved playing volleyball. We were Dad’s crew and it was always sad to leave harvest but yet we were excited to get back to school and play sports! (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.

Janel: One Day At A Time
Janel Schemper

Pierre, South Dakota – We’ve been in the Pierre, South Dakota area since mid-July and we’ve been working but it’s been a slow progress. We’ve dealt with several rain showers (which have brought some relief from the summer drought), high humidity and a few cloudy days.  It’s also been one day at a time waiting on fields of spring wheat to ripen.  It takes heat, wind and lots of sunshine to get the wheat to ripen and lately the temperature has been mostly in just the high seventies.

We could finish here in South Dakota pretty soon if the weather would just cooperate.  Today, it’s cloudy with high humidity.  We need the sun to shine so we can get done before it rains again!  The last few fields of spring wheat we harvested yielded 38 to 50 bushels per acre.  The protein has been 17-20 percent and the test weights have been 55 to 59 pounds.  That’s pretty good for a drought year.  The later planted wheat on summer fallow was more successful this year.  I had a Harvest USA report with Howard Hale a week ago and we discussed how the wheat acres were short this year and there are lots of row crops planted including soybeans, corn and sunflowers. 

When we get all finished up here we will be moving up to North Dakota (one of my favorite states on our route) to harvest spring wheat and canola. North Dakota is an amazing place to be and the people there are simply great.  I enjoy all of our harvest days spent there!  I look forward to the cool mornings and evenings as well as harvesting good crops!  I’m also excited to go to a private garden we are welcome to each year to get sweet corn, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and lots of great vegetables.  My favorite garden fresh vegetables are North Dakota tomatoes!  Yum!

Schemper 2017 - South Dakota Wheat Harvest
This is our harvest mood captured in a photo! Moo and I cutting wheat in South Dakota.  (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - South Dakota Wheat Harvest
Miss Moo is one of a kind in every way. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - South Dakota Wheat Harvest
It was such a beautiful evening I just took a few seconds to get out of the combine and take a quick picture of this volunteer sunflower in the wheat field!  It was pretty!  (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - South Dakota Wheat Harvest
I love wheat harvest and all of the beautiful fields I get to cut with my Dad! (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - South Dakota Wheat Harvest
Miss Moo loves her job! Here we are harvesting spring wheat near Pierre, South Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - South Dakota Wheat Harvest
Harvesting spring wheat at night near Pierre, South Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - South Dakota Wheat Harvest
Harvesting spring wheat near Pierre, South Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - South Dakota Wheat Harvest
Harvesting spring wheat near Pierre, South Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - South Dakota Wheat Harvest
Cutting wheat near Pierre, South Dakota. This spring wheat yielded 50 bushels per acre.  The later planted wheat on summer fallow was more successful this year.  (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - South Dakota Wheat Harvest
I’ve been harvesting wheat here in the Pierre, South Dakota area since mid-July and have seen a beautiful orange moon several nights lately and it’s always very pretty! (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - South Dakota Wheat Harvest
A volunteer sunflower in a wheat field I harvested near Pierre, South Dakota. (Photo by Janel Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - South Dakota Wheat Harvest
I enjoy washing our equipment and trucks especially when it’s warm outside. Here I am washing the tractor. (Photo by Carlene Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - South Dakota Wheat Harvest
This is grain bin work. (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

Janel: Montana Nearly Complete
Janel Schemper

Great Falls, Montana – Our crews in Montana will be finishing up soon. They have been harvesting there since mid-July and have kept busy and had decent harvest weather. I asked my brothers JC and Jared for a crop report and pictures and they delivered. The spring wheat made 43 bushels an acre for an average, the test weights were 58 and 59 pounds and the protein was 15% plus. The chickpeas made 35 to 40 bushels per acre and did very well. They’ll be finishing up on lentils soon and they’ve been yielding 27 bushels per acre for an average.  

When they finish up in Montana they’ll be going to North Dakota next to harvest spring wheat and canola. Our 10 day forecast for our next stop is mostly sunny and seventy degree weather. However, there are a few days in there with a chance of storms. 

Schemper 2017 - Montana Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting wheat near Great Falls, Montana. (Photo by Jared Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Montana Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting lentils near Great Falls, Montana. (Photo by Jared Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Montana Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting wheat near Great Falls, Montana. (Photo by Jared Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Montana Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting lentils near Great Falls, Montana. (Photo by Jared Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Montana Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting lentils near Great Falls, Montana. (Photo by Jared Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Montana Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting wheat near Great Falls, Montana. It’s nice harvesting right next to the elevator where the grain is being hauled.  That’s a beautiful field of wheat! (Photo by JC Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Montana Harvest
This is my nephew Sage Schemper at Shep’s burial site. Shep was a sheep dog. This is a tourist attraction in Fort Benton, Montana. If you read the story about Shep you’ll understand he was forever faithful.  (Photo by JC Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Montana Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting chickpeas near Great Falls, Montana. (Photo by Jared Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Montana Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting wheat near Great Falls, Montana. (Photo by JC Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Montana Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting chickpeas near Great Falls, Montana. (Photo by JC Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Montana Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting wheat near Great Falls, Montana. (Photo by Jared Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Montana Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting chickpeas near Great Falls, Montana. They unload the chickpeas onto the truck instead of using a tractor grain cart that way the grain is handled less.  (Photo by Jared Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Montana Harvest
Schemper Harvesting unloading at the elevator near Great Falls, Montana. (Photo by JC Schemper)
Schemper 2017 - Montana Harvest
Schemper Harvesting cutting chickpeas near Great Falls, Montana. (Photo by JC Schemper)


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

Janel: Drying days wanted
Janel Schemper

Pierre, South Dakota – We are slowly making progress. We have been here a couple of weeks now and for the most part have spent most of our time waiting on spring wheat to ripen. We have cut a few fields (some have been hailed on), and overall the wheat is yielding around 30 bushels per acre. The protein has been 17-20 percent, which is excellent. However, the wheat is light, weighing about 55 pounds or so. The wheat is standing good, and the conditions have been fair. What we really need are some good drying days, including lots of heat and wind. That would help our wheat harvesting progress a lot. Continue Reading

Janel: Montana aka Big Sky Country
Janel Schemper

Fort Benton, Montana – Last year 25 percent of our crew went to Montana.  This year 75 percent of our crew went to Montana to harvest winter wheat, spring wheat, chick peas and lentils. They have been there for about ten days and have been harvesting full blast nearly every day.

The winter wheat has been averaging over 60 bushels an acre, 62 pounds and 13-14 percent protein.  Sounds good to me!  It took the crew three days to get all of the equipment from Western Nebraska up to Montana, so I hope they have the best of luck there and continue getting in some big days of harvesting! Continue Reading

Janel: What’s it going to be?
Janel Schemper

Pierre, South Dakota – We made the big trip from Western Nebraska up to the Pierre, South Dakota area, and there is definitely a big ole drought going on. I was told that there really hasn’t been any rain at home in Nebraska since May, and South Dakota looks to be the same way. I could see the drought results as I traveled across Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota last week. Kansas looked alright, but as soon as I was in Nebraska I could see it. And it became worse as I traveled into South Dakota.

On the way up here we ran into road construction at Mission, South Dakota. There was a sign at Valentine, Nebraska that said road construction and width restriction 31 miles ahead. We asked around in Valentine; and everyone said they had seen lots of combines going north, and we could get through there. We got up to Mission, and there it was. There they were working on the main street that we travel, and our wide loads couldn’t fit through because of the cones. I wonder how many combines have just been hauled through there anyway. A local was nice enough to stop and tell us to turn around at the school, go back a mile and then head west on the gravel. Then at the dead end, go north up to Highway 18 and we would be back on the right track again to Highway 83 north. There was no detour route sign anywhere. For goodness sakes, why not? Continue Reading

Janel: It was fun while it lasted
Janel Schemper

Western Nebraska – This year I was in Kansas longer than expected due to the evening rain showers. We couldn’t ever work really late like we needed to and put in our time because we’d get shut down by the rain most evenings. The weather really messed with us. 

Thankfully, my brother Jared and Uncle Lonny were able to harvest most all of our wheat jobs in Western Nebraska before we got there. We did still get to stop there and cut for a few days, which was great. Disappointingly, the wheat I cut didn’t yield well due to mosaic disease. The wheat looked decent from the road, but the mosaic disease really got to it this year. However, Western Nebraska has some of the most beautiful sunsets with such beautiful colors. I didn’t get to cut there long enough this year to enjoy them.  Continue Reading

Janel: Harvest ups and downs
Janel Schemper

Goodland, Kansas – We’ve been harvesting wheat every single day here on the Kansas/Colorado state line, which is great. However, we’ve been getting little rain showers almost every evening around 9 p.m. causing us to have to quit early most nights. These little rain showers usually just make a mess of the equipment. The dust and the chaff on the combines and blue headers get stuck on badly with the rain drops, and every morning we’re kept busy blowing off the combines. And I get my biggest workout of the day in washing windows like crazy. Washing windows every single day gets old, but it is part of harvesting and the weather. 

When we see the storms showing up in the west, we almost always have a threat of hail. Disappointingly, we did have some hail out of one or two of the clouds. Harvesting wheat that’s been hailed on and a few acres of wheat with mosaic disease takes all of the fun out of it. Both are definitely disastrous to the wheat crop. That’s just the way it is sometimes. We have had plenty of good wheat to cut though for the most part. The wheat yielded 60-80 bushels per acre. The test weights were 60-63 pounds, and the protein ran at mostly 10 but was 12-plus sometimes.   Continue Reading