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Thomas, Oklahoma–We arrived safely in Thomas, Oklahoma, with the equipment. A long trek we are glad to have behind us.  It took a little longer than expected, as we had to pull over on the side of the road after the engine of one of the semi's suddenly shut off and would not restart.  Narrow roads and wide loads pulled off on the shoulder are not a good combination.  Harvesters dread this type of scenario, as it leaves little room for oncoming traffic to get around our equipment.  We must be very mindful to not create any un-due

Manley, Nebraska – This should be the last time I use this location at the beginning of my posts. Trip number one has been made to Chase, Kansas. Harvest 2019 is about to begin for the Z Crew ... finally!

I’m going to get real with this post.

The state of agriculture is depressing right now. Farming is a stressful and risky business. Weather and commodity prices are two of the main causes of the current decline in farm income and both are out of the farmer’s control.  I just recently read a heartbreaking story about another young farmer from South

North Central Texas—The rain finally lifted, and we’ve had several great days of running hard. We’ve been really concerned about the ground holding up after all the moisture, but knock on wood, we have been very fortunate so far and hope it stays that way. We know well what it can be like in the mud down here! There’s been a wide range of yields, as one might expect from the weather, but on average, we’re seeing around 30 to 45 bushels per acre. Test weights are in the 58 to 61 range. Protein is coming in at about 10

Frederick, Oklahoma–We had a slow start due to a few rain showers but have finally gotten some decent harvest weather. Starting out we were sampling fields, some were ready but some were just not quite ready yet.  After the rains had passed all of the wheat was finally ready to be cut.  We’ve been putting in some longer days, too, which is great.

It hasn’t been easy though. We’ve had combines stuck in the mud and other harvest challenges.  We’ve had mostly 70 and 80 degree weather but typically when we’re here it’s in the 90s and

North Texas—Shortly after noon I got “the call.” Ryan let me know they were going to give it a go. We made plans to head to the field because who doesn’t want to miss “The Opening Ceremonies” for the 2019 harvest season?

There’s always this sense of anticipation to start the very first field of the season. However, my feelings were starting to sink a little as I watched a thunderstorm pop up in the west. I hoped it was going to slip to the north and east, but the radar told a different story. I beat the caravan

Greenfield, Iowa—The magic moment has arrived. It's the day we have been anticipating for months ... the day where all the madness of preparation is over, and the wheels start to turn as our rigs pull out of our driveway and head towards Oklahoma.

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The journey begins. We say our farewells to our farm, friends, and family and head head south for the wheat fields of Oklahoma. It's always a bittersweet moment.

 

The rainy weather mentioned in my previous blog has not improved much. This has led to a lot of delays for nearly every agricultural activity throughout

Lindsey Orgain

Orgain Harvesting

Lindsey Orgain is somewhat new to the harvest trail.
She and her husband, Jason, have Orgain Harvesting in Cheyenne, Oklahoma.
It is the 11th season in the business, but it was in 2014, two years after she married Jason, that Lindsey decided to quit her job and come aboard full-time for the annual harvest journey.

Brian Jones

Jones Harvesting

For 35 years, Jones Harvesting, based near Greenfield, Iowa, has made an annual trek from Oklahoma to North Dakota, harvesting golden fields of wheat for farmers who have become like family to the Jones family.

Tracy Zeorian

Z-Crew

Tracy Zeorian has followed the ripening trail of wheat since she was 12 years old.

Zeorian’s grandparents, Elvin and Pauline Hancock, had been making the annual harvest run from Texas to Montana since 1951.

Janel Schemper

Schemper Harvesting

Janel Schemper was 6 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.

Laura Haffner

High Plains Harvesting

For Laura Haffner, there is not a better way to see the Great Plains.

She and her husband, Ryan, have High Plains Harvesting based in Park, Kansas. The couple, along with their two young children and a crew of about a dozen, travel from Texas to the Canadian border to harvest wheat, canola and peas.

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