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Rain in the middle of harvest isn't typically a word you like to hear, but for this Okie—it is heaven.

Last week meteorologists were predicting a 10 to 60 percent chance of rain, and no two weather stations predicted the same forecast. Keeping an eye on the weather was not our priority, but the rain obviously came.

Big storm rollin' in

Dusk before the Storm

Last pass before the rain
This was the last round we had to take to finish the field, and it was just in time!

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. 

The Miseners have been very busy since my last post in December and I have some catching up to do!

Nothing has really changed for us because we're still up and down the roads. After we made the long haul home after the 2011 fall harvest we took a well deserved vacation to Montana to spend the holidays with my grandparents. We also headed to Grand Island, Neb., for the U.S. Custom Harvesters Annual Convention. We had a chance to see and catch up with our fellow harvesters.

Seven months ago my family and I left Elk City, Okla. to start our 2011 harvest season. It seems as if we should still be prepping for the long trip north, but instead I find myself trying to summarize the 2011 harvest and it is more difficult than I expected. I could say it was the best year ever, or that it was the worst - but I won't say either.

This year was, shall I say, interesting. It was stuck in the middle.

Soybean harvest went well, and the fire was our only difficulty. The 2011 corn harvest was no unlike soybeans and had its own difficulties.

In August a few storms went through with very high winds and heavy rain. This type of weather flattens smaller fall crops that are in their growing stages, and unfortunately once flat always flat. Corn cannot just spring back up. We spent our corn harvest picking up corn that was on the ground. In my opinion, weather wasn't the only factor - and the variety may have played a roll. I say this after seeing a field where two varieties were planted in one field flopping from one pass to the next. One variety was completely flat, the other was not. I suppose the one variety was not able to withstand the fierce weather conditions.

It has been super busy around the Misener Family household, and I can't believe how the time flies. Fall harvest has come and gone. The last time I updated you all we were kicking off fall harvest, but today I can officially say that the 2011 harvest season has come to a close. It's a bittersweet ending.

I wanted to share a few fall harvest stories, since this harvest was not without difficulties. My combine caught fire on the last day of cutting when chaff build up met a hot hydraulic line. It was dry, and windy so even a small fire can be bad. We had been taking precautions to avoid fires by blowing the excess chaff from the machine, but it apparently wasn't enough. Dan, Joel, Lee and I fought the fire as best we could and emptied all the extinguishers we had, but it wasn't enough. The 40 mile per hour wind helped this fire get out of control fast. The fire department did get called and while we waited for them we fought the fire with one shovel and our feet.

Fall harvest has started for the Misener family! We are on day three of cutting and the soybeans are looking good. We do see green stalks here and there, but we're running through the acres nicely.

My Aunt Sonja and cousin Lee have joined us to help out. Sonja is running one of our combines, and has in the past. Lee was here for a couple days before going back and will come back next week when he can get off work. We really do appreciate all their hard work, and of course we love spending time with them.

Here's a few photos from our last three days.

emma_rockrapidssoybeanharvest
The first field of beans in 2011. Dan is setting the combine to soybeans. The combine has a particular setting that is different from wheat because the seeds are different sizes. Finding those setting can be a challenge.

We've been staying right on our farmer's place in Rock Rapids. It's in the country and we're parked right next to fields of corn and soybeans. These particular fields aren't what we'll be harvesting, but it will give you an idea how close harvest is getting.

It's likely we'll be done with our soybean harvest before we get to the corn. Dan thinks we should be able to harvest at least by the end of the week, but I think we'll be testing as early as tomorrow. We are crossing out fingers and hope that we will be harvesting soon and that it will be just as good as last year. Let's just hope the weather stays nice. Fall harvest will be complete before we know it.