06 Jun Jenna: Wheat info and visitors (yay!)
Hamlin, Texas – I stopped by the grain elevator in Hamlin today to see what employees had to say about wheat in the area. According to them, the wheat quality is above average here thanks to ideal growing conditions. While this is good, it means that the protein (which is higher when the wheat is stressed) is low – averaging around 10 percent. The yields are good for the area, though – right now the county is averaging about 20 bushels per acre but they expect the average to be around 35-40 by the end of harvest. All in all, it sounds like most crops faired well this year.
Our excitement for the day was that we had visitors! (This is a big deal for us during harvest.) Our close family friends from home, Mark and Candi and their two daughters, were here this morning. What are they doing in Texas? Mark is actually one of the newest members of New Holland’s harvest support team, which is currently located in Vernon, Texas.
Most of the major combine manufacturers (Case IH, John Deere, New Holland, AGCO, etc.) have harvest support teams. These teams support custom harvesters by providing parts and labor. Like custom harvesters, the teams follow the wheat harvest and “set up camp” at/near major harvest stops throughout the season.
For Mark, this traveling lifestyle is nothing new. In 1992, when he was 16 years old, he joined our crew as a hired-man and continued to work for us the following two summers. Over those three years, our family sort of adopted him and he’s been like part of the family ever since. Honestly, Mark is probably the closest thing to a big (annoying) brother that I have.
Years after working for us, Mark bought a combine and made the harvest run on his own for several summers. Now he works at a New Holland dealership near home and, as I mentioned earlier, is spending his first summer on the road with the harvest support team – and brought his family along with him.
Us girls had a great time hanging out while Mark was working on a combine here in Hamlin. It’s always nice to see familiar faces when you’re far from home…especially those cute little girls’.
Jenna Zeorian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. All Aboard 2010 Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and DuPont Crop Protection.