High Plains Journal All Aboard Wheat Harvest


Category Archives: New Holland

Steph: Road to Texas
Steph Osowski

Gilliland, Texas – I had a nightmare last night that my tractor/grain cart load fell off my trailer… never had I been so happy to be jolted awake by reality at 3 a.m. Sometimes road stories are bizarre and out of control like that. This road story is the exact opposite.

We were graced with perfect travel conditions and the road to Texas went off without a hitch. When we were embarking on our final travel day this morning, Bossman John asked me if I had $16 to pay for the campsite since he had no cash (and also said he would give me $20 back. As an economics major, that’s a no-brainer). I had $16 exactly and not a penny more.
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The Lingering Harvest of 2016
Steph Osowski

Grafton, ND – It is October 6th and I sit here being able to tell you that we are not done with wheat harvest yet. Sugar beets are being harvested, potatoes are being dug, soybeans and edibles are being combined and there is still some wheat that has yet to be taken off. We have had some desperate calls from farmers in the area that normally wouldn’t have their wheat custom harvested but since they can’t get through their fields with their wheeled-combines, the one combine we had tracks put on has been a busy little bumblebee. Dad has switched out the concaves on the combine with tracks at least 3 different times because he switches crops so often. It still amazes me how that thing can just drive right through water standing in the field. However, we have discovered it isn’t a foolproof system — the track combine has still been stuck. We have had anything from a tank puller to a 4-wheel drive tractor having to yank us out of some of the holes we have found ourselves in. It is truly unbelievable. As for the rest of Osowski Ag,  Brandon is helping out until the bitter end when college will start for him in November. Mom has gotten back on her regular work wagon but occasionally will spoil us and still bring supper out to the field.

The days have been long and the nights have been… well, the same actually. This time of year is the time to buckle down and get as much work in as you can to prepare for the long winter months. What I mean is this; dad needs help during the day for wheat/bean harvest and then Peter and I have a farmer that I take night shift for driving beet truck. I have been told recently that if you stack your feet on top of one another, try to nap and your feet topple to the sides that that is enough rest and you are good for another 8-hours. I think that is a trick I may put to the test before long. It still doesn’t know how to quit raining up here seeing as we received around half an inch in the last couple days- so that’s fun. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all you readers out there for your continued support of this program and our crazy lifestyles we love. This year has certainly been an interesting one but if I’m being honest, that’s something I can truly say for each and every harvest season. I know I’m lucky to have the opportunity to be able to say that. An even bigger thank you goes to High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture for bringing this program to life and doing everything they can to support us out in the field. The gratitude we correspondents and harvest crews alike have for you is immeasurable. So again, thank you!

As for me, I have a holiday booked for a solid month and a half to head back to South Africa and then spend some time in Europe on the trip home. People always ask me how I can do such far and long trips and my response is always the same; you just gotta book it and go from there. Hopefully we will be finished with harvest by Christmas, right?

Till next harvest, have a great year and we look forward to sharing our stories with you next season!
Waiting on the headland.
Waiting on the headland in my beet truck. To the left is the pull tractor and to the right in the beet harvester.
Dad getting pulled out by the tank puller AND 4-wheel drive.
Dad getting pulled out by the tank puller AND 4-wheel drive.
Beans.
Beans.
Grandpa Hiladore running grain cart. Isn't he the cutest?!
Grandpa Hiladore running grain cart. Isn’t he the cutest?! Note the lunch box and thermos — can’t go anywhere without those!
Peter and I, ready to haul beets.
Peter and I, about to embark on a beet harvest shift.
A cute little barn by the river.
A cute little decrepit barn by the river, surrounded by perfect fall colors.
Osowski Ag bids farewell!
Osowski Ag bids farewell!

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. You can contact Steph at stephanie@allaboardharvest.com.

2016 Wrap Up
Emma Misener

Dell Rapids, SD — I cannot believe it is the middle of September already. Every year when the summer harvest wraps up and the fall season begins, I get the same feeling of disbelief. Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday we were fixing the big, green beasts and starting our first wheat field of the season. Now the harvest trail has led us to our next stop in South Dakota. Here we will inspect the machines we have in storage, fix what needs repaired (not much I presume), and wait the allotted time it takes for the fall crop to mature. My guess is that the soybeans for our farmer is about two-three weeks away. The corn will be ready after that. The crop maturity varies a lot this year it seems. Some is a maybe a week away, others at least three. Maybe it is due to the varieties planted or possibly if the rains this summer hit the field or not. Overall, it looks to be a good fall season.
That is just how farming goes. It is a gamble. I imagine it is very hard to see the time, money and effort into planting a crop be destroyed by the elements. I suppose that’s why being a farmer and having great faith go hand in hand. Just like any job really. No one likes to see their hard work destroyed or belittled. No matter what the lifestyle is, we all need God. He helps us through the ups and downs. I believe He never makes bad things happen or good things happen, He teaches us how to deal with or rejoice in those things that arise in our lives. He lets us know that He is here for the long haul and that we can depend on Him to get us through. This year has been stressful, just like any other year, but I am content because I know that He is here and He will help us through. All we can do is our best and He will do the rest. But doing our best can sometimes be the challenge. We are human, we make mistakes, but He knows that. We will continue to disappoint. In the end it only matters if we do our best.

Here are a few fun pictures!
Emma: 2016 AAWH
‘ALL’
Emma: 2016 AAWH
‘A-board’ LOL
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‘Wheat’
Emma: 2016 AAWH
‘H’
Emma: 2016 AAWH
‘A’
Emma: 2016 AAWH
‘R’
Emma: 2016 AAWH
‘V’
Emma: 2016 AAWH
‘E’
Emma: 2016 AAWH
‘S’
Emma: 2016 AAWH
‘T’
Emma: 2016 AAWH
‘!’
Thanks to our farmer Mike for pitching in and having fun with us spelling out All Aboard Wheat Harvest! It will be forever in my memories and it was laughable time!

I always try to say something profound, encouraging and motivating in my ending post of the season. I am always looking on the bright side of things. To my friends I am known as the eternal optimist. Haha! I am not sure about that, but the only thing I can think of at the moment and has never really escaped my mind this year is this:

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.”
 
-Mother Teresa of Calcutta

A final tip of the hat to all followers! I have had a great year and have enjoyed the stories you all have shared with me. Thank you for following along with Misener Family Harvesters and AAWH. I hope you have a prosperous and happy rest of the year and continue to be blessed in the future. Keep on keepin’ on. Never loose faith.

Be safe and God bless you and yours.
-Emma Misener

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Emma can be reached at emma@allaboardharvest.com.

Field Swamps 101
Steph Osowski

Grafton, ND – I kid you not, there are fields with ruts from one end to the other.  No matter where the combine drove, it left a rut-shaped tattoo. That is what 95 percent of the fields look like in Walsh County, North Dakota. Since we got our tracks put on last week, dad’s phone has been ringing off the hook with more wheat to cut and it’s been the best kind of scramble. 40 acres here and 60 acres there and maybe a quarter somewhere in there each day, all for different farmers in the area. The thing about tracks is that when roading the combine from place to place, the header must always be removed and thrown on the trailer. Also, the tracks only allow for a whopping speed of 15 mph even in the highest gear the combine has to offer. Good thing we have lots of practice loading combines on trailers!

If you’re driving a combine, you need to be extra careful where you go in order to stay on solid ground. If you’re driving grain cart, you need to make sure to unload the combine extra often to keep it as empty as possible. There is also a good chance you’ll be taking the long way to the trucks to steer clear of the ruts and getting stuck yourself. If you’re driving truck, you may need to park on the road in order to not get caught full in the field with no way to move. The wheat is of good quality so it’s well worth the hectic harvest. The protein is between 13 and 14 in content and test weights are in the 60s.

I feel like a bit of a broken record lately with my posts but we seem to be stuck in a weather pattern that is determined to complicate harvest as much as possible. This past weekend, it began raining around 11p.m. and continued to be rainy and cloudy until Tuesday morning. And, low and behold, there is rain in the forecast for Wednesday afternoon and on to the end of the week. Looks like the crops will get to have another swimming lesson before harvest will begin again.
Introducing the tracks.
Introducing… the tracks.
Making dust amongst the water.
Making dust amongst the water.
Grain cart action.
Grain cart action.
Ruts on ruts.
A field of ruts.
A wheat field or a puddle?
A wheat field or a wheat puddle?
It's unbelievable how much these tracks can go through.
It’s unbelievable how much these tracks can go through.
Dad and Farmer Lloyd, surveying the mess of a field.
Dad and Farmer Lloyd, surveying the mess of a field.
Side view.
Side view.
Farmer Lloyd yells at me "your camera is going to break" as he smiles for the camera. :)
Farmer Lloyd yells at me “your camera is going to break” as he cracks a smiles. 🙂
Peeking through.
Peeking through.
Crusing around the corner.
Cruising around the corner.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. You can contact Steph at stephanie@allaboardharvest.com.

Keep Calm and Harvest On
Steph Osowski

Grafton, ND – We were granted a whole week of harvest before Mother Nature reigned down on us again come the weekend. See what I did there? She reigned and she rained. It was the week of my birthday so that must be why it went so well, don’t you think (it was on the 25th of August)? We have been bouncing from one farmer to another either trying to find wheat that is ripe enough to cut or a field that is dry enough to drive around on. We have been harvesting for almost a month off and on and we have yet to completely finish up a farmer. The thing is everybody is very understanding because they know they aren’t alone — everyone in the area is struggling with the same issue.

Wanna know the hot commodity around here? Tracks. It would be a good year to own a couple sets to be able to rent out because it is becoming one of the only ways to achieve progress. Dad made some phone calls and found a set to rent. The guy we are renting from charges by the acre rather than by the month to rent the tracks, which will be much cheaper in the long run. With the rains the area received again last weekend (anywhere from one to four inches), we are glad we got them! Farmer Randy went and retrieved the tracks for us and while driving back to the farm with them through Grafton, he had many phone calls asking where he got the tracks and who they were going to because they would like to have a word with the recipient. Hopefully if it dries up in the next couple days, I can give you all an update on how they work for us!

I did mention it was going to be an intermittent harvest this season but I didn’t fully realize the truth of it until now. I can’t remember a time when we have ever been so behind with harvest. Dad mentioned the other day that it hasn’t been this wet around here since 1993 so makes sense why I don’t recall that year… I was two years old. I can add two never before experienced harvest experiences to my resume this year; being a part of one of the best wheat harvests the state of Kansas has ever seen and also, being a part of one of the wettest harvests Walsh County, ND has ever seen. All we can do at the end of the day is to keep calm and harvest on!

View from the grain cart.
View from the grain cart.
Little ball of fire.
Little ball of fire.
Wheat.
A hose came loose but, we caught it quickly! Still made quite a mess though.
A hose came loose but, we caught it quickly! Still managed to make quite a mess.
Little hydraulic spill.
Little hydraulic oil spill in the wheat field.
Dad and Peter getting some parts configured.
Dad and Peter getting some parts configured.
Dusk cutting.
Dusk cutting.
Couldn't get enough of this lighting...
Couldn’t get enough of this lighting…
Combine.
Combine.
Sunset.
Sunset love.
Like I said, couldn't get enough!
Like I said, couldn’t get enough!
CAPTURED.
CAPTURED.
Coming to the end for supper.
Brandon coming to the end for supper.
Chicken alfredo...YUM.
Homemade chicken alfredo… YUM. Birthday supper at its finest.
Tis the season for corn on the cob.
Tis’ the season for corn on the cob.
Okay, one more sunset shot.
Okay, one more sunset shot.
My birthday cake!!!
My birthday cake!!! Strawberry 🙂
Isn't it so pretty? It was absolutely delicious.
Isn’t it so pretty? It was absolutely delicious.
Mama bear.
Mama bear.
Mama bear and I.
Mama bear and I.
Peter and I.
“Peeta”, when pronounced in the South African accent.
Tracks!
Tracks! Photo credit goes to Brandon on this one. I stole it from his Instagram.
All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. You can contact Steph at stephanie@allaboardharvest.com.

Our Weekend Began on Wednesday
Z Crew

Center, Colorado –  Our “weekend” began on Wednesday (8/24).

As you may recall from my last post, we were able to get started on Thursday (8/18) and kept working every day until we bumped up against high moisture on Wednesday morning (so we got six good days in). We all had high expectations of keeping the wheels rolling but we were also beginning to really show signs of needing a break. Which we got.

We sat in the field all day Wednesday hoping each moisture test would be better than the previous one. The last test we took was low enough on the combine monitor and the hand tester to justify taking a sample to town. Because this particular field will have several trucks making the trek to the Coors facility in Monte Vista, we knew it would have to be tested by them before the wheels were going to continue rolling. Casey and I made the 15 mile trip to Monte Vista. Their result was 14.2%. Too high. So, we just quit early for the day.

Thursday morning, we began the day as usual. Jim went to the gas station to get fuel for the combine and to the grocery store, while I made lunches and got things gathered for being away for the day. It was cloudy and chilly – not good for drying grain. We did take a sample, though, early afternoon – 14.1%. So it dried…some. We just all left the field for a while. Some hauled grain, some went home and took a nap and a few of us just took a short road trip. We got back to the field late afternoon and tried it one more time. This time the sample tested 12.5% but the clouds were thickening up and getting pretty dark. After a phone call to the farmer, it was decided that since it was so late in the day and we hated to chance getting a truckload of grain that was too wet to get rid of, we’d just wait another day. And then it rained…not much. But around here, it doesn’t take much. The nights are beginning to get pretty chilly and it takes longer in the morning to warm up. 

Therefore…

Nothing was even attempted Friday. 

While we’ve been away from the field, we were finally able to get our laundry done and bills paid. We had visitors from home and we took a drive through the mountains. I will save this info for another post. In the meantime, enjoy a few of the photos I took over the past week. Hoping tomorrow we’ll be back in the field.  And, speaking of being back in the field…don’t forget to check out the Combine Cam. It’s been running pretty consistently while we’ve been here. It’s good to have cell service again! Have you ever watched a windrow of grain being picked up? It’s just so weird after watching a reel turn all summer long and now it’s not there.
Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
This is barley – not wheat (although they do look very similar). The heads of the barley is longer than wheat.
Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
The “14ers” got a dusting of snow during one of the many storms that rolled through. These mountains are referred to as the “14ers” because of the elevation being at least 14,000 ft or more.
Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
While we’re helping Ryan and Casey Graham, the amount of equipment in my pictures has increased by quite a bit. Every time we pull up to the field, it puts me in mind of a farm show. We can certainly get a whole lot more done with five combines!
Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
Looking at the next circle of barley from on top of the Beast.
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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
Lots of equipment means lots of people to run it. The night we were leaving the field, we only had one pickup because we had just moved everything to the current circle. A few of them had to ride in the back which made for a pretty chilly ride!!
Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do!
And, yes, I’m still a sucker for a good sunset!

 

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. The Z Crew can be reached at zcrew@allaboardharvest.com.

My Momma is Awesome
Emma Misener

Elk City, Ok — Every year I think I say the same thing but it bears repeating! My Momma is such an excellent cook and I am amazed how she can keep up and find new things to cook. I like cooking, but the hardest part for me it to think of something TO cook. Mom has had years of practice and it definitely shows. Thank you, Momma, for doing what you do best. You keep us all in line and take care of us like no other. You are very much loved not only for your cooking, but because you are awesome and are worthy of a post of your very own. I thank God you are mine! Here are just a few things that we get to eat. No special reason for these amazing things, believe me this is her normal cooking.
These are called ‘Good-for-you muffins’. Basically its a bran muffin with walnuts and raisins, but it literally tastes like heaven. My favorite. What’s a muffin without lots of butter?! 
Emma:elk city and beyond
Emma:elk city and beyond
Elk city repairs and fun
This is the best pie in the whole wide world. My favorite upon favorites, ‘Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie’.
Emma: mommas awesome food
Emma: mommas awesome food

The 10th was her 60th birthday! We celebrated by a surprise get together with family at our local Mexican restaurant, Pedro’s. It was a fun time. Then we headed back to Granny’s house (aka Momma) and had cake and opened presents. The cake was a mutual effort between my sister Katie, Liz and I. I have to say it turned out great! Just what we all hoped it would look like.
Emma: mommas birthday
Emma: mommas birthday
Emma: mommas birthday
A couple days later we gave her another birthday present. She’s been wanting to paint her kitchen. Well, job accomplished! She now has nice, bright red walls! Her favorite color. Happy Birthday, Momma. You are a special woman. I love you. Here’s to many more birthdays to come!

Be safe and God bless!

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Emma can be reached at emma@allaboardharvest.com.

Ruts on Ruts
Steph Osowski

Grafton, ND – They say you learn something new every day. Well, yesterday I learned that there is truly no shame in turning your rear-wheel assist on and leaving it on throughout the entire field. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right? That is the name of the game with these wet fields. We are all but tip-toeing through these fields and sometimes, even our tip-toes sink. The protein has remained between 14 and 15 for content so the farmers are being more lenient than usual with the moisture (rather than only cutting at 13 percent or lower, somewhere in the 14s works to ensure the wheat comes off the field). The kick they receive for having high protein more than makes up for it.

Yesterday, we field hopped. We would make a pass, take the sample to town and see if a second pass was possible. The first field has a 16.2 percent moisture reading so that was a no-go. The second field had a 17 percent moisture reading so our odds were decreasing rapidly. The third field we tried had a great moisture reading, 13 percent! The only problem was that the ground was as soft as a sponge and couldn’t hold the combine up for longer that 500 feet. We got so stuck that it took a tug with Farmer Brian’s four-wheel drive tractor plus another tug from our very own four-wheel drive Versatile that we had to fetch from our farm.

The final attempt at combine progress was me taking the unstuck combine 10-miles west to another farmer’s field, Farmer Lloyd. Half a pass later and I was on the verge of getting stuck. In the words of Dad, “We’ve banged our heads against the wall enough today, just park it.”

Bread Count – We no longer haul the grain for the farmers because they all have their own trucks, so I must discontinue the bread count. But we had a good run!

Quote of the Day“Suck it up buttercup, we are finishing this field.” (an attempt at giving the combine a pep talk)
Towing the rope.
Towing the rope.
To the frame.
Sunk to the frame.
Got a little lean.
Got a little lean to it.
And we're stuck again.
These photos are starting to look familiar, I can imagine.
4-wheel drive to the rescue.
4-wheel drive to the rescue!
Blowin' smoke.
Blowin’ smoke.
Dad and Farmer Brian.
Dad and Farmer Brian, discussing the situation at hand.
More ruts.
And some more ruts.
Checking out the wheat.
Checking out the wheat.
Green stubble.
Green stubble.
Almost my favorite part of the day!
Almost my favorite part of the day! Can you guess what it is?
Unloading on the go.
Unloading on the go.
Ahh yes, sunset love.
Ahh yes, sunset love.
There goes another day.
There goes another day.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. You can contact Steph at stephanie@allaboardharvest.com.

A New Place…A New Crop
Z Crew

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Monte Vista, Colorado –
We made the trip up and over the LaVeta Pass with the Beast last Thursday with no issues. Once we arrived at our destination, we unloaded the combine and knew we wouldn’t be back until after we got the pick-up header in Goodland, KS. We thought that would be the next day. However, once the call was made, we found out it wasn’t ready to get picked up and we wouldn’t be able to get it until Monday afternoon. So, our plans changed – as they sometimes do. I tried to convince Jim we should go home for the weekend but he sorta frowned on that idea. Jamie and Curt were going to be starting to move into their new home and Callie was moving into her dorm. I really did want to be there for both of those events. But, as most harvesters know…when there is work to be done, there are lots of things we miss at home. The sacrifices are part of the job.
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Callie was lucky to have her sisters to help her with the move. It looks like they had everything in its place in no time. I’m certainly anxious to get home and see her new “home!” And to see Jamie and Curt’s new home!
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Flaps are up…it’s time for liftoff…well, sorta.
We made the trip to Goodland, KS on Monday – late morning. By the time we had the header loaded and were heading down the road again, it was mid afternoon. We had made the decision not to take the trailer house over the hill and would stay in a motel instead. This meant packing clothes, office supplies, groceries, toiletries, shoes, etc – basically everything we needed for the time we’d be away. I tell ya what…those of you who stay in a motel the entire harvest journey have earned my respect! It’s not so bad, except it’s not home. And making due with what you have is something I can do but it certainly isn’t as easy as having everything in its place in a “home.” Making lunches takes on a whole different feel in a motel!
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Servicing included oiling chains before beginning the barley harvest.
We were up early on Tuesday morning. Again, Jim wanted to get over the pass before the heat of the day. Both pickups were going to be hauling headers – the MacDon Flex Head and the MacDon Pick-up head. All our stuff was packed and we were ready to go by 8:00. The trip was pretty uneventful except for one issue. As we were starting to make our way up the pass, I heard a loud bang. It sounded like something hit the side of the pickup. I called Jim on the two-way and told him what I heard and thought maybe we should stop and check it out. After walking around the pickup and header trailer, we couldn’t see anything that looked out of place so we started up the hill again. I heard it again – only louder this time. So, Jim decided he’d drive the service truck and see if it did it again. When we reached our destination, I asked him if it ever made that noise again. He shook his head, “no.” Then said, “Why do you always want to try to give me a heart attack?” I asked him what he meant because I would never do something like that on purpose. He said, “look in the backseat of the pickup – there you will find the noise you heard”. I looked. All I saw were the few boxes of items that we packed and a bag which held several bags of potato chips. That’s when I realized the loud noises I heard were actually the bags of chips popping open due to the change in elevation. It seriously sounded like a tire blew or a gun shot. A bag of potato chips…

We unloaded our living necessities in the motel and took off for the combine. We had some servicing that needed to be done before we could get back in the field again. We took the rest of the day to do that and to also put a new tarp on Frank. The old one was 16 years old and began showing wear this summer. Thanks to Steve Molstad and Colby Canvaswe now have a brand new tarp. Colby Canvas also created our window covering a couple of years ago. Steve and his gang do a great job and I would highly recommend Colby Canvas! They know and understand the needs of the harvester.
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While putting the new tarp on Frank, the wind decided to come up – quite strong, I might add. So, while Jim was attempting to attach the tarp to the metal frame, I was attempting to hold the tarp in place so it wouldn’t blow off the truck. That was a funny sight, I’m sure!
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Pretty certain the sunset pictures are going to be way more than necessary!
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The San Luis Valley is a high-altitude desert with an annual rainfall of 7″. Everything that is grown here is kept alive with water coming from a pivot (and there are a lot of pivots here). This area will rarely, if ever, see a 1″-2″ rain like we experience in the lower elevations. The Valley is surrounded by mountains and is absolutely gorgeous. So far, I’ve seen potatoes, barley, lettuce, canola and hemp being grown here. We haven’t been able to really explore but I’m hoping before we have to leave, I can see more of the valley’s agriculture.
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Interesting house, wouldn’t you say?
We were ready to begin cutting on Wednesday afternoon. We moved the combine and trucks to the field we were to start in and cut about 100 yards. The sample was taken to the elevator and the result was too wet. The sample was 18.2% and it needs to be 12-13% like wheat. So, we moved our equipment down the road about 15 miles and made the initial cut into the field to take a sample. The farmer took off with it and would call us with the results. In the meantime, the rain began to get closer and closer. Just as the farmer called to let us know the moisture test was 11%, it began raining. So, we called it a day as it was after 6:00 p.m. when it started to rain.
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Moving to field #2. I took this picture because it just has agriculture written all over it! The truck was hauling barley, the swather would be used to swath barley and then there’s the combine. I was stopped while I took the picture. The truck was turning right and I wanted to make sure he had plenty of room to make his turn.
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Barley looks a lot like wheat only the heads are much longer. I should have taken a picture of the grain in my hands – I’ll do that another time to show the difference between the two grains. Most barley is swathed and laying on the ground by now. Because of the weather, some of the farmers have opted to leave it stand and use the same header used for wheat. When it’s laying on the ground, we will use the pick-up header. The majority of the barley grown in this area will be used by Coors for beer. 

We were able to get started yesterday. It’s a very slow process – not anything like the craziness of wheat harvest! We didn’t get a very early start this morning because of the rain the night before and I was only able to get 50 acres cut today before we had to shut down for the night. I lacked 10 acres of getting our first half circle done. The reason for the slow going is because the straw is still green (very green in places) and it’s yielding so well. The monitor shows an average of 150 – with a patch or two that makes the monitor move in the 300’s.  Oh well. It’s a new place, a new crop and there’s a whole lot of learning to do!

Jim took this video. It isn’t a very clear video but gives you a fairly good idea of the area around the grain bins that he’s been hauling to. 


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No words needed.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. The Z Crew can be reached at zcrew@allaboardharvest.com.

Long Time No Wheat
Steph Osowski

Grafton, ND – Usually when we get home, it’s a whirlwind of activities. We no soon drive through the city limits and we have farmers calling to see what place in cutting order their wheat fields fall into. I know I’ve repeatedly mentioned the rain but it is repeatedly falling and messing up our schedule so I’m left with no choice. All the rain our area has received has made and will continue to make harvest intermittent this season. Some farmers in the area have made so many ruts that they are waiting till it dries out to finish and if it doesn’t, pray their insurance agent is having a good day the day they tell them how much crop they will be forced to leave in the ground.

Protein content has been out of this world at 14.2 and the moisture has been about 13 to 14 percent the last couple days that we have been able to harvest. Our Farmer Brian told us that even if the moisture goes a little high, he wants us to cut it just to get it off (God bless bin dryers). We still got the combine stuck today (again) but we moved to another quarter a few miles away and were able to keep the wheels of all machines above ground and turning. Something so simple but something we have taken for granted the last couple weeks so, today was a good day.

Also, I remembered my camera today. Score!
I missed my camera.
.
Grain cart.
.
Here comes the service truck.
Here comes the service truck.
Dad fixing on the header.
Dad fixing on the header.
Back in the wheat.
.
End of the field action.
End of the field action.
Oh the pretty lighting.
Oh the pretty lighting.
The sun was my friend today.
The sun was my friend today.
Combine.
.
Dust! A rare sight these days.
Dust! A rare sight these days.
Spotted; Brandon having a combine date with his girlfriend.
Spotted; Brandon having a combine date with his girlfriend, Shawna.
Sun sets on the day.
Sun sets on the day.
Purple.
Purple.
Farmer Brian.
Farmer Brian, all smiles.
Dusk cutting.
Dusk cutting.
Riding shotgun in the grain cart.
Riding shotgun in the grain cart.
Never a bad time to wash windows.
Never a bad time to wash windows.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. You can contact Steph at stephanie@allaboardharvest.com.