South Dakota Bound

Guest correspondent Scott Clark checks in as his crew begins the move north from Goodland, Kan., to central South Dakota where harvest is beginning to roll. This week Scott talks about technical issues, and what the crew is hearing about South Dakota wheat.

A week in Goodland, with minor rain delays, was enough time for the two crews of two machines each to finish up. The harvesting conditions were favorable with good standing, high-yielding wheat. Elevator lines were the bottleneck, as most farmers reported 60- to 75-bushels-per-acre yields in the area.

During a move Kendall had trouble with the pro-drive transmission on his combine. The transmissions and various sensors have been the only complaint on the new machines. Driving at 23 miles per hour with the header attached and having a sudden lock-up can cause the operator to say an immediate hello to the windshield on the machine. Kendall wasn’t too excited about this situation, as it wasn’t the first time it had happened. Because of the issue, the machine couldn’t be moved out of the roadway until the following morning when harvest support could fix the problem. The software on the machine needed to be updated.

Thursday morning two truck drivers announced they would be leaving. This poses a slight problem, as the crew will be shorthanded. This situation isn’t ideal, as yields have been high and truck drivers stay very busy. However, the crew will find a way to work around the shortage—harvest doesn’t stop just because a crew is shorthanded.

This weekend I will help the crew move to central South Dakota where the harvest is just firing up. Initial reports from the area have yields ranging from 35 to 75 bushels per acre, 13- to 15-percent moisture and 12-percent protein. Before we go, however, I have been going over the necessary paperwork to ensure our loads will be able to get through all of the DOT inspections in Nebraska.


Chief navigates through the field.


Kendall tops off the grain cart while moving.


Tom helps Louis load the truck.


Trucks waiting for grain, they won’t be waiting long!


Finishing up as it begins to sprinkle.

Lined up

Loaded up to head north again.

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

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