All Aboard Harvest | Brian Jones – Jones Harvesting
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Brian Jones – Jones Harvesting

Brian Jones – Jones Harvesting

For 35 years, Jones Harvesting, based near Greenfield, Iowa, has made an annual trek from Oklahoma to North Dakota, harvesting golden fields of wheat for farmers who have become like family to the Jones family.

Brian Jones is a second generation custom harvester, having joined his parents, Glen and Vernelle Jones, his sister Brenda Hamer, her husband Cameron and their four young boys; and his uncle, David Rahn on the crew.

“I enjoy the traveling a lot,” said Brian, who said every place is different, as is every year. One thing remains constant, and that is the families for whom the Jones bring in the crop. “We have a couple of farmers we’ve worked for for 34 years,” he said.

The harvest run is like visiting family members, he added. They attend church, shop the aisles in the local grocery stores, and eat at the same restaurants each year. The Jones family has spent enough time in these communities that they feel like they belong there.

“If you add up the time we’ve spent in those individual stops, it seems like years that we’ve been there,” he said.

The Jones crew makes stops in Thomas, Oklahoma; Minneola and Sublette, Kansas; Big Springs, Nebraska; Onida, South Dakota and Strasburg, North Dakota. Strasburg, Brian points out, is the birthplace of Lawrence Welk. The crew harvests wheat on acreage that traces back to the band leader, he added.

The Joneses run a John Deere and Case combine, plus supporting equipment.

When not harvesting, the Joneses operate a 4th generation farm in Adair County, Iowa, where they raise corn, soybeans and have a cowherd. Brian is active in the Iowa Farm Bureau.

Can it really be over?!? Wheat harvest 2018 was as memorable as they come for Jones Harvesting, for all the right (and wrong) reasons. Watch the summary video below to relive the highs (and lows) of the summer, the most memorable photos, the best footage and catch one more glimpse of the sun setting on amber waves of grain.  Then continue reading on as I share details of the final journey back home, readjusting to life on the farm, gearing up for fall harvest, and the preparations already being made for wheat harvest 2019.



It's amazing how fast time goes

And just like that..the last pass is made, and wheat harvest 2018 is over for Jones Harvesting. Can that be possible? Did we really finish North Dakota in only 7 days? Amazingly, yes. Watch the video bellow to catch the harvesting action from the combine cab and the completion of the last field. Then continue reading on for a detailed account of the final days of harvest 2018 for the crew.



In my last correspondence we were harvesting with our hair on fire and the pace never slowed until the last bushel was cut. North Dakota can have tricky weather

Wow, what a difference a few days can make.  You'll recall the slow progress we had been making in South Dakota because of the green spring wheat ripening so slowly with cooler temperatures.  Well, the weather finally cooperated, the wheat dried down, and South Dakota ended in a flurry of activity. Click to watch the video below for an update live from our final South Dakota field. Then continue reading about the first few busy days of North Dakota harvest.



Finishing South Dakota always feels like such an accomplishment, because we spend so much time here covering so many

Onida, South Dakota - Spring wheat progress has been slow in much of central South Dakota, hampered by unusually cool, cloudy days that just haven't pushed the green spring wheat along nearly as fast as we hoped.  We find a field or two ready to harvest, and as soon as it is cut we play the waiting game again.  I guess this is the perfect example of when "green means stop, not go".  Click on the video below and I'll show you the problem first hand...


Since there hasn't been much harvesting action to share with you I

Click the video below to enjoy the scenic sites of winter wheat harvest in central South Dakota. Enjoy!!!


Three weeks after arriving in Onida, South Dakota, we are finally shifting gears....moving from winter wheat to spring wheat. No doubt you have noticed this year's very unusual weather, and harvest in South Dakota has been unusual because of...you guessed it, the weather.

We often anticipate a South Dakota harvest to be hot, dry, and windy with long hours and weeks of uninterrupted harvesting. This year is the opposite. Cool weather has been the norm, replacing triple-digit heat



 

Watch the video above to get the latest news on our progress here in Onida, South Dakota, as we enter week two of winter wheat harvest. We found some beautiful wheat, surrounded by an amazing scenery I MUST share with you!

Once updated, be sure to continue by clicking the video below as I share with you some of the BEST harvesting landscapes you'll ever view as we combine along the Missouri River. Watch the machines harvest along the water, fill the trucks with grain, unload the semis at the bin site and take equipment to the



Onida, South Dakota - Watch the video above as Brian takes a tour of 5 fields that were hit by catastrophic hail near Onida, South Dakota. Two separate storms cut a wide swath of destruction in Sully County the week prior to the 4th of July, continuing across the state of South Dakota in what many describe as the worst hail ever in the state's recent history.

There were reports of hail lasting an hour in duration, combined with micro-bursts of wind topping 90 mph. Over 200,000 acres of crops were damaged or destroyed in Sully County



Onida, South Dakota - Make sure you watch the above video for a summary of last weeks activities.

A quick synopsis: With SW Kansas finally finished we intended to move up to Big Springs, Nebraska for our next job. However, in another weather-related twist to the 2018 harvest, the worst case scenario of two states ready for harvest simultaneously has become a reality. So in an agonizing decision we have made arrangements to skip our Nebraska job and move 600+ miles to Onida, South Dakota.

It's disheartening, a little tough on morale and negatively affects the financial bottom

Minneola, KS - I wish I didn’t have time to write this update today, and instead harvesting wheat here in Minneola. Sadly, the weather has been very uncooperative since our arrival in Kansas. I find myself sitting in the trailer tonight after another wide-sweeping storm halted harvest in the entire Western half of Kansas.

IMG_7303 Our trailer houses parked in Minneola, KS, shared with another harvesting crew. The sonic ambience of the Rail Road tracks 100 feet away is usual for us rural folks!

I shared before how the wheat was so thin due to the drought conditions that have plagued