All Aboard Harvest | High Plains Journal Following Custom Harvesting
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Early this week we started going steadily, and the rain finally backed off. Most days we didn’t get going until well after noon, usually around 4 to 5 p.m. I'm amazed we could work as late as we've been able to, but we’re covering ground, starting earlier everyday, and moving closer to our jobs down the road. All in all, we’ve covered about 4,000 acres this week.

The wheat we’re cutting is still in the 35 to 45 bushels an acre range. The moisture is sticking pretty close to 14 to 14.5%. The further

Northern Texas: The wheat finally dried down enough for us to cut a whopping two truckloads Sunday evening before the rain started again that night. I suppose on the positive side, two truckloads is better than no truckloads, which is what the stats sheet had read previously.

Yesterday, June 7, was another day of humid, cloudy conditions. We woke in the night to rain, and it continued until morning. Some areas received only a few hundredths while others received closer to an inch or more. We even heard a report of an area further south that had five inches.


Northern Texas: Rain, unusually cool temperatures, overcast skies and puffy clouds have continued their unwelcome stay down south. Very little cutting is happening from custom harvesters and farmers alike. Normally, when I’m running up and down the highways, I see machines rolling, dust clouds rising on the horizon and grain trucks humming down the road. However, all is quiet. You would not even know its harvest time if not for passing the ripe wheat fields and seeing them for yourself. At church Sunday people spoke to us about concerns of wheat sprouting in the head if it continues much longer

This is a very unusual year. Texas normally has really hot, dry weather. In years past, I can remember having one really awful storm when we first arrive down south, then things dry quickly and go. Last year we witnessed a really terrible hail storm right before we started cutting. One of our crewmembers saw a baseball-sized hail come right by him as they quit on one of our first evenings cutting.

This year is not like that. This year, it rains. And it rains. The temperature is probably about 10 to 15 degrees cooler than normal. After

Greenfield, Iowa—We may be counting down to the final day at home, but the stress level seems to be going up. Without question, the worst part of wheat harvest is the “getting ready to leave” part. You never know which one of the bazillion things you have to do should be completed first, and once you finally pick a task it only takes a few minutes to realize you should be doing something else.  


It ends up a juggling act of sorts, often with too many balls in the air at once. School is winding down with last

Southwest Oklahoma – I had thoughts of going on harvest and cutting wheat right away when we arrived May 25. We waited around for several days before we got to start cutting. We definitely didn't come here to sit, we came to work but there's nothing I can do about the weather. I've been through it before. I know I just have to wait it out because that's the way harvest is sometimes. So far the yields have been decent. I’ve cut 45- to 65-bushel wheat. The test weights have been 58 to 63 pounds

Christy Paplow

Paplow Harvesting & Trucking

Christy joined Paplow Harvesting & Trucking in 2010 while dating her now-husband, Paul Paplow. Eleven years later, Christy and Paul are married with one daughter, Zoey, and work side by side with Paul’s father, Gary, and mother, Rhonda, in their 30-year-old harvest business.

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 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.