Scott: A little rain makes a lot of difference

Scott Clark’s crew has moved into Kansas and has seen dramatic differences in the wheat crop due to moisture. This week Scott talks about a clients secondary crop and how rain tends to change plans.

The crew moved to eastern Kansas last Tuesday and Wednesday. Most of the east side of Kansas has had a considerable amount of rainfall this season – and it shows. The yields have been averaging from 40 to 65 bushels/acre and the test weights have been as high as 64 pounds. The wheat is waist high in most places, and we aren’t forced to run our headers on the ground to get all the wheat.

In this area – and our customer – often broadcast lespedeza grass seed in the wheat crop. (The crop is Korean lespedeza—not it’s noxious weed counterpart Sericea lespedeza.) The lespedeza is about a foot tall right now, so we must keep our headers above the grass and below the low-lying wheat heads in order to get all of the wheat, but not damage the growing secondary grass crop. In September we’ll return to harvest the lespedeza and our client will clean it and sell it as a forage seed and soil saver for pastures.

Thunderstorms moved in on Saturday and rained us out. I’d be willing to bet that our fellow harvesters in the central part of Kansas are glad to see rain go somewhere else for a change. It seems they have been getting all the rain lately and the harvest progression has slowed because of it.

The rain allowed a relaxing Father’s Day. It’s the first time I can ever remember dad not being on a combine. The down day allowed the crew to sleep in a little and get some preventative maintenance taken care of. They’ll head out to the field later today and see if the fields have dried out yet. The lespedeza growing means we can’t jump into the fields too soon or we will damage the grass seed by compacting the crop with our tire tracks.

We’re about 45 percent done with this job and provided there are no further delays we’ll be loading up to make the trek to northwest Kansas.

I hope all the dad’s had a Happy Father’s Day!

A couple of combines roll across the field harvesting 60 bushel wheat.

After sliding our slideouts in and disconnecting the water, sewer, and electric, our house is ready to be moved.

A combine prepares to move to the next field while another machine finishes the last strip of wheat in the background. Our clients always want to keep their fields “separate” meaning you don’t carry over grain from one field to another for insurance and rent purposes.

Kevin completes a pre-trip inspection and fills out his log book prior to departure.

Kevin adjusts the height valve on a semi to provide a smoother ride for our trailer house.

Some of the equipment waits patiently for the move to our next job.

Just like an elementary school field trip, the guys all grab a sack lunch for the road on their way to their rigs. Mom’s had lots of practice preparing “on-the-go” meals over the years.

A thunderstorm rolls in on Saturday night. The inch of rain the storm dropped allowed my father to catch a few more minutes of sleep father’s day morning.

For more information contact All Aboard 2011 is sponsored by High Plains Journal and DuPont Crop Protection.


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