Megan:More Summer Catch Up

My last post was to help get everyone up to speed with Roland Harvesting. This post will be very similar as I try to catch everyone up on how our summer wheat harvest has gone so far. Once we finished up in Altus, Okla., we moved north of Forth Worth, Texas on May 30. It was pretty tough and slow cutting during this stop.

Last year the farmer had grown cotton in these fields and had planted this year’s wheat crop on top of it using a no-till planter. The wheat fields had many cotton stalks sticking up above the actual wheat and this presented many tricky tasks for us. We had to adjust and modify the combine settings to process the excess cotton stalks that came in with the wheat. It was a challenging process to master but once the combines were adjusted properly things went a little more smoothly for us.

We were also faced with the challenge of trying to work in a small agriculture spot that was completely surrounded by a metropolitan area. All of the wheat we cut was hauled on a four lane road into Fort Worth. James did much of the hauling and said that traffic was absolutely terrible and he would hit bumper to bumper traffic almost every time he took a load of wheat into the grain elevator. It took a little over an hour to get to the elevator, a fair amount of wait-time to get unloaded, and another hour to get back to the field. Just to get one semi load of wheat dumped it was about a three to four hour process.

The only major breakdown we had in Texas was when a feeder house chain broke on Dad’s combine. Jason had to go into Dallas to get the new chain and due to the travel time and effort it took to fix it, the combine was down for most of the day. When there is standing, ripe, dry wheat ready to be harvested and your combine is broken down in the field, the feelings of anxiety and frustration always settle in. However, breakdowns are part of harvest and what’s important is being able to repair them efficiently and quickly as possible so that the combine can get up and running and get back to cutting wheat.

Cotton stalks 2
The farmer planted wheat into cotton stalks. This took a little bit of adjustment on our part, but we managed the challenge.

Cotton from cab
We had to make an adjustment due to the cotton left over.

Traffic in Fort Worth
Traffic like this near Fort Worth is not something we typically deal with.

Megan Roland is the newest member of All Aboard. She can be reached at All Aboard 2011 is sponsored by High Plains Journal and DuPont Crop Protection.

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