All Aboard Harvest | High Plains Journal Following Custom Harvesting
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North central Montana—Ever heard the phrase been there done that? I've been told for many years by my parents that they'd never go back to Montana to cut wheat. So never in my life did I think I'd be harvesting in Montana. I’m here and it’s been quite the change from the Dakotas, which are my favorite on my harvest run. Almost my whole life we’ve always rushed to South Dakota to cut winter wheat just as soon as we finished up in western Nebraska. This year we had no winter wheat to cut in South Dakota

Montana—Ryan has large, great family. Mine is a lot smaller, and I may be biased, but I think they are wonderful people as well. We love getting together with them whenever possible. With that information, you may think we have all the family we need. However, even though my heart is full, that doesn’t mean its maxed out. There’s always room for more! And that’s what often happens with the crew. They can become an extension of family.

It's easy to see how that can happen. We live in close proximity day in and day out, sometimes share meals

I am reporting from good ol’ Grafton, North Dakota. Not to come out the gate whining but, man, is it saturated up here. I wish we could send some of this stuff down the wheat belt because, well … sharing is caring. Harvest is getting closer but not enough to cause a panic just yet. Here at True North Equipment, we are doing different trainings and walk-arounds with the shiny new 2021 HD40R header on the lot as well as a 2020 S780 combine to get everyone in the mood. Let us hope my speaking skills are as up

Onida, South Dakota—It has been a long, two-day affair, but the crew’s move to South Dakota is finally over. Time to relax, right? Wrong. Sully County welcomes us with a fierce storm forming in the west.  A storm watch is in effect, and we have been frequently checking the radar on our phones. It’s time to get the trailer houses set up and eat our evening meal before the rain drops start to fall. The combines unload at a farm site just north of town. After supper, we rush to get the equipment situated before things turn muddy

Western Nebraska—We’ve been hot and dry for weeks now. I’d say I’ve been cutting wheat every single day for nearly four weeks straight. I’ve seen a couple of pop-up thunderstorms out here in western Nebraska but neither time did we receive any rain in the field. One storm looked horrific coming towards us. I was cutting wheat and very high winds hit and there was dirt in the air and the wheat was dancing in the wind. We just kept cutting and the wind storm lasted for about thirty minutes. Luckily, all we got was wind and the rain

WaKeeney, Kansas—We just wrapped up a 10-day stint around WaKeeney, Kansas. This area has received substantial moisture recently which makes for less than favorable cutting conditions. Muddy ground, laid-over wheat and pesky weeds means a slow run for the combines. Despite the conditions, we saw strong yields of 40 to 50 bushels per acre with test weights ranging from 60 to 62 pounds.

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Getting started in St. Peter, Kansas.

As a harvest wife and mom, stops like these can certainly dampen my spirits a bit. When cutting conditions aren’t ideal, that is my cue to keep our kids

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.

Stephanie Cronje

Osowski Ag Service

Janel-Schemper-Schemper-Harvesting

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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