Some days are better than others

Guest blogger Scott Clark checks in again from the road. The Clark Farms Harvesting crew makes their way northwest after running into wet conditions around Kiowa, Kan. 

A warm and windy weekend was much needed for southern Kansas. After the Clark crew rolled into Kiowa with two more machines on Friday, they were able to harvest almost 800 acres over the weekend – even with combine problems.

The shoe shaker arm broke on one of the combines, and when the shoe dropped down it broke the cleaning fan blades. After parts were located, the machine was put back together by Sunday evening, but the crew struggled with technology. One of the machine’s electronic parking brakes would not release, and the machine could not harvest until the new sensor was installed.

Ground conditions are very wet in the area, leaving most two-wheel drive combines parked – even making it difficult for our four-wheel drive machines on 800 duals to run. We have yet to pull a combine with the duals out, but we have sunk them down to the frame and left 30-inch ruts many times. As long as the farmer approves and demands that we get his crop out, we keep on pushing the machines. Thankfully, we had a 9520 John Deere four-wheel drive tractor sitting in the yard in Kiowa. We were able to switch it out with our mechanical front-end tractor to keep the graincart running in the wet conditions.

Yields have been averaging 35 to 50 bushels per acre, and the test weight is 59 pounds after four to eight inches of rain fell over the area recently. By midweek, part of the crew will begin moving machinery to Tribune, Kan., where the wheat harvest is expected to be in full swing by the end of the week. The remaining equipment will move to northwest Kansas after finishing up in the Kiowa area.

As for me, wheat harvest in Arizona is wrapping up and I have flown back to Iowa. I will be continuing my testing work in western Kansas later this week. I will be close to my family and will be helping them move combines from Kiowa to Tribune.


This used to be a wheat field.

Deep tracks

Someone must have been stuck here recently.


A little muddy in the field.

For more information e-mail All Aboard 2010 Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and DuPont Crop Protection.

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