All Aboard Harvest | Janel Schemper – Schemper Harvesting
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Janel Schemper – Schemper Harvesting

Janel Schemper – Schemper Harvesting

Janel Schemper was 5 months old when she made her first harvest journey.

“Harvest for me is a way of life,” the third-generation custom cutter said.


Schemper Harvesting, based in Holdrege, Nebraska, goes back more than a half-century, started by her grandfather, Jerry Schemper. Today, the operation includes her parents, LaVern and Carlene, and her brothers, JC and Jared.


They cut wheat every year from Frederick, Oklahoma, to North Dakota.  Their fall harvest is in Nebraska.


She started operating the combine full-time during the summer months at age 13, she said. The job and family tradition has taught her life lessons: An exceptional work ethic, honesty, responsibility, dependability, business professionalism and a dedication to fulfill the harvest season year after year.


Schemper said she joined the All Aboard Wheat Harvest in 2017 and gained a new nickname from High Plains Journal readers.


“It’s Princess Kate,” she said. “I truly appreciate each and every one of the messages and overall support from (All Aboard) followers. I’ve had a few messages that said, ‘Thanks for being a voice for us.’”


During the harvest offseason, Schemper hauls grain locally and hires the crew for Schemper Harvesting.  She is also an insurance agent and writes home, auto, life, health, farm, crop and business insurance policies.

Holdrege, Nebraska – I got home from North Dakota on September 11th and started cutting soybeans on September 13th. Fall harvest was quickly in full swing which made me very happy! I cut for 16 consecutive days and had big dreams of harvesting all fall without any stops.  Mother Nature has held us up recently. We’ve had some rain delays and it just pushes us back.

All I want to do is be in the field all day every day until we finish harvest (typically in November sometimes December). I’ve been fighting the weather almost the entire harvest season (May through present).

Grand Forks, North Dakota – Canola is one of my favorite crops to harvest.  We’ve been blessed with several beautiful days here in North Dakota to cut canola.  We use pickup headers to pick up swaths of canola but this year we are straight cutting every acre and the pickup headers have stayed in the shed.  It’s been hot and dry and the canola fields were sprayed prior to harvest.

Yields typically average 50 to 70 bushels per acre which is 2,500-3,500 pounds per acre or more. Canola seeds are small and round with approximately 90,000 to 115,000 seeds per pound.  The

Grand Forks, North Dakota – The spring wheat we’ve been harvesting recently has been as beautiful as ever. The yields have been great. I know nobody likes a bragger. Definitely not bragging, just saying! They must have had a good winter and the perfect amount of snow and rain (moisture) with the perfect timing to grow such a beautiful wheat crop here in North Dakota. They put on the fertilizer too. I will give the farmers credit. There are good farmers here and they know how to get it done and done right!

The wheat I harvested recently has been yielding over

Great Falls, Montana - Our crew out in Montana is keeping busy cutting chickpeas and so far so good JC says.  The chickpeas are easy cutting and they are making harvest progress.  They are yielding in the 40s and they are dry.  They also had Canada fires heavy smoke in the air for several days.  Once they finish chickpeas they'll cut barley.

The durum they cut yielded over 70 bushels per acre.  The spring wheat averaged about 65 bushels per acre and the best winter wheat they cut yielded 92 bushels per acre.  Montana must've had perfect rains and the right timing to have

Great Falls, Montana – Our crew out in Montana has been staying quite busy. They’ve been there nearly a month and have finished winter wheat.  They have been cutting lentils, durum wheat and spring wheat.  They have reported good yields and the weather has been hot and dry.  The wheat has been yielding over 60 bushels per acre.  The moisture is down to 8% and the fields are dry and dusty.  The protein is 14.5% and the test weight 61 pounds.

The lentils they harvested averaged 35 bushels per acre. They have spring wheat to cut yet and will follow up on chickpeas.


Grand Forks, North Dakota – We arrived at our last harvest stop here in North Dakota earlier than ever. There is a drought going on here and the farmers are praying for rain especially for their soybeans.  There are lots of fields of soybeans and some look good but some are looking short and very dry.  We’ve been cutting spring wheat and will eventually harvest canola too.  The weather has been hot and dry which is good for harvest progress but we are expecting highs in the 70s for a few days.  We've had several consecutive days of 90 degrees.

Typically, we

Pierre, South Dakota – We’ve been staying busy cutting spring wheat but I think we’ll work ourselves out of work pretty soon. All I want to do is keep on cutting wheat and work all day every day. The cutting conditions have been good except for the occasional evening rain shower that has shut us down a time or two. The spring wheat we’ve cut has been in the 40 to 60 bushels per acre range. The test weight has been 61 to 63 pounds per bushel and the protein 12.0 to 16.4 percent. We did cut one field of

Great Falls, Montana – Our crew in the Great Falls, Montana area has been busy cutting winter wheat for over a week now. They are reporting exceptionally good yields.  The winter wheat has been averaging 60 to 90 bushels per acre.  The test weights are 65 to 66 pounds and the protein 12.5%.  Sawfly has been an issue and it’s worse this year.

They are planning on harvesting winter wheat for another 7 to 10 days. After that they’ll harvest spring wheat and then chickpeas to follow.  So far their fields have been big and the truck hauls short.

Schemper Harvesting cutting

Pierre, South Dakota – We made the big trip from Sidney, Nebraska up to the Pierre, South Dakota area and had a great trip. The outside temperature was only 70 degrees and we didn’t have any tire troubles.  That’s a lot to be thankful for on a big day of traveling.  However, there were two places where we got stopped for road construction.  There’s a really big hill north of Bridgeport, Nebraska and so I was getting prepared for it.  I was speeding up going down a hill so I could easily make the upcoming big hill (I was hauling

Chappell, Nebraska – Typically when we are out west cutting wheat the days are filled with plenty of amber waves of grain to harvest and getting a day off is just a wish! Wet conditions have slowed our progress and my only wish lately has been to just be in the field and cutting all of the wheat before it rains “again.”  We’ve experienced a pattern lately of cutting a couple of days and then having few rain days.

It’s usually a rush to get the wheat cut here because South Dakota is next on our route and usually waiting on us