High Plains Journal All Aboard Wheat Harvest


Category Archives: spring wheat

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: 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.