All Aboard Harvest | Uncategorized
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Well, as of this morning we’re still “babysitting” our field near Duke, Oklahoma. We're in hopes it will dry out enough that we can get going later this afternoon. Yesterday, after looking through all of the photos I have taken in the last couple weeks I realized how many neat ones there really are. I’m the type of person where I see a moment or scene and think, or often enthusiastically say, “photo op!” (which seems to be a college slang term for “photo opportunity”). With that being said, you can only imagine the amount of pictures I have taken since the beginning of our harvest season. Even though the boys often gripe that I’m constantly taking pictures of them and always wear my camera on my hip, I don’t ever want to miss a moment. After all, as the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” So please, sit back, get your clicker finger ready, and enjoy some southern Oklahoma harvest - Roland style.

Cattle in the field
A group of cattle from a nearby pasture apparently wanted to come see what all the ruckus was in our field. I only say this because I doubt “the grass is always greener on the other side” applies to this situation. It’s not the first time we’ve cut a field with cows in it, but it’s certainly not a “norm” for us.

After a long day of traveling and cutting wheat on Thursday, May 10 we were disappointed to wake up Friday and hear the Gould area received about an inch of rain. Over the weekend a couple more rain showers came through the area. We continued to “babysit” our field and sample it periodically in hopes that it would be dry enough to start cutting again but the weather was not in our favor. The sky remained filled with gloomy clouds and the humidity in the air spiked. Due to the cool, damp weather the wheat would not dry down and the moisture remained between 19 percent and 16 percent all weekend. The lowest the moisture dropped down to was 15.7 percent on Sunday.

During these few days where we were unable to cut we kept very busy with random projects. We performed maintenance on the combines, replaced lights on the tractor and grain cart, looked at other fields in the area, and visited with many farmers. After about Day three of waiting around all of our “rain day” jobs were completed and we were anxious to get back in the field. On Sunday, we were all feeling a bit down since we had not been able to cut for the last few days and also that it was Mother’s Day. We’re used to celebrating Father’s Day on harvest, but we’re always with Dad so it’s fitting. However, neither Brandon nor I have ever spent a Mother’s Day away from Mom.

We made sure to call her and she seemed a bit blue as well. She could tell we were upset that we couldn’t get into the field due to bad weather. Mom explained how harvest is not always ideal and although everything is very early this year, she emphasized how we just have to count our blessings and be thankful there was even a crop down south to cut. She always has a way of putting things in perspective for us and always keeps the attitude about how the “sun will come out tomorrow.” And that it did.

Finally on Monday the sun came out, the warm wind began to blow, and the temperature rose into the 90’s. We all knew this meant the wheat would dry down in no time and then harvest would kick into full gear. And boy, were we right. All last week we worked long, hard days and cut out many acres in the Gould and Duke, Oklahoma area. For the most part we had a smooth week with minimal complications. James’s header had a minor breakdown but we were able to get it up and running until the parts for it can be shipped here.

Wheat harvest for Misener Family Harvesters has officially started and it sure didn't take long to get back into the swing of things.

Yesterday we drove three combines, tractor and grain cart, and two semis to our first stop on the 2012 trail. We started south of Elk City, Okla., and cut around 160 acres. Not too bad for our first day. The wheat averaged about 11 percent moisture, 61 pound test weight, and around 30 to 35 bushels per acre. Compared to last year, the wheat is considerably better, like night and day.

Our First Day!
Dan took this picture yesterday. The farmer is right behind us with the tractor working the field.

Harvest hasn't quite started for the Misener Family, so we're keeping busy with things around the shop. Some of the things we're doing is inspecting our combines, tightening chains and belts, doing some preventative maintenance by changing bearings that are nearly worn out, and cleaning cabs. Some might find this a little tedious, but this is the kind of work that keeps us running in the fields when harvest is in full bloom. No breakdowns in the fields means more wheat we can cut in a shorter amount of time. Not only do we appreciate this, but our customers appreciate it even more. It's nice to know your whole livelihood is gathered up and no longer sitting in the vulnerable field. 

Rain has halted wheat harvest progress in parts of Texas and Oklahoma, but was welcomed as portions of the area are still in need of moisture. Overall, the wheat crop remains ahead of schedule and has been reporting above average yields in places.

Texas – Portions of South and West Texas received up to six inches of rain last week while other areas only received scattered showers. Wheat and oats are being green chopped or baled for hay, and many grain producers have began harvesting or are preparing for harvest. Several who have started to harvest have reported above average yields. The High Plains is seeing irrigated wheat in good condition, while dryland wheat remains in need of moisture. In North Texas harvest was on hold due to rainy conditions.

Oklahoma – Harvest continues to progress, but weekend rain showers stopped combines in southwestern Oklahoma. Wheat in the Panhandle is still in need of rain, although the state received rain in portions of South Central and Southwest districts. Cooler temperatures in the mid to low sixties have continued to halt harvest. Conditions have been rated mostly good, and 80 percent of wheat heading is in soft dough stage—44 points ahead of t he five year average.