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harvest Tag

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. 

On the evening of October 13th The History Channel revealed their newest show, “Harvest,” to the entire nation. Featuring three diverse harvest crews, including my family’s (Roland Harvesting), this hour-long premiere has initiated quite the controversial buzz in the world of agriculture. Throughout the four episodes of watching and analyzing “Harvest,” I personally experienced a variety of feelings from anticipation to nervousness to excitement to annoyance to surprise and finally ending with contentment.

Being in front of the cameras and seeing the other side of things certainly gave our crew and family a different perspective on this show. The film crew followed us for multiple weeks throughout the summer and they spent hundreds of hours collecting raw footage from the field. Although the film crew had their own agenda, they often times worked the same long, hard hours as we did and endured the heat and dust to capture just the perfect shots. (Unfortunately, due to History Channel’s request, I was not able to post any information about the film crew with us this summer. It truly was quite an experience to see how they operated around all of their equipment!)

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.