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Scott: Harvest is moving right along

Scott Clark’s crew has finished harvesting in southeast Kansas and will be moving to Goodland, Kan. This week Scott talks about how weather can determine harvest plans.

It’s hard to believe we’re already moving for the fourth time this season. It feels like the summer is flying by and harvest seems to be moving right along. Each time I update, it seems that we’re just finishing up with one job, loading up, and moving to another stop. It seems to really paint the picture of the custom harvester lifestyle. We’re always on the road and always looking for our next home.

We spent the last ten days in the southeastern corner of Kansas where the wheat averaged over 40 bushels per acre across the board with test weights over 60 pounds and protein around 15 percent. The weather was favorable for harvesting and thankfully we were only out of the field for a day due to rain and we were able to complete the job before a round of storms moved in. In this business a matter of hours or even minutes can make the difference between getting the crop in the bin or having Mother Nature harvest it for you.

We’ll make the trip to Goodland on Monday and Tuesday. It is a 500 mile trip with combines and oversized loads that will equal a 1500 mile trip when you factor in multiple trips to get all the equipment to the next stop. We’ll have a few days before the wheat is ready in Goodland, and the forecast for cooler days and chances of rain won’t help wheat ripen any faster.

We’ll be in the field on the Fourth of July. We’ve rarely witnessed a fireworks display anywhere but the cab of a combine. Just to show you how the weather can play a role in this industry. We’ve harvested wheat as far south as Scott City, Kan., and as far north as Pierre, S.D. on Independence Day due to the progression of harvest each year.

The combine picks up the “corners” of the field. When harvesting around and around the field, we leave a small patch of wheat at each corner of the field and pick them up at the end.

The reel on the draper header combs the wheat onto the belt that conveys the crop into the machine. No matter the color of the combine or who you talk to about harvesting wheat. Controlling the height and speed of the reel is an important factor in harvesting efficiently.

Randy stops to grab a bite to eat.

Justin leaves with another load of freight.

The guys pack and load up the remaining pieces of our campsite.

Garrett and Kevin perform a “walk-around” of all the rigs to ensure everything is secured and ready to be transported safely down the highway.

To see more pictures from Scott’s crew, visit our Facebook page.

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

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