30 Aug Scott: Another harvest season has come and gone…
Scott Clark and American Quality have completed yet another wheat harvest run. This summer’s harvest took them from central Oklahoma to the Canadian border but every beginning has an end. The crew will finish with wheat and begin harvesting fall crops next week.
As I mentioned in my last blog, we’ve been cutting both canola and wheat lately. The canola has been yielding from 1500 to 2600 pounds per acre. Due to the moisture, many producers in have experienced a lot of regrowth of the plants and some fields even have several yellow canola flowers blooming again. We’ve been trying to get over and harvest as many acres as we can at all of our stops in North Dakota, just as the grain is dry enough to store (around 10 percent) to help our farmers avoid having to spray the crop to kill it before harvesting.
The wheat we’ve been harvesting around Interstate 94 has been making from 13 to 35 bushels per acre. The average is 28 bushels per acre for the acres that we’ve harvested so far. The standing water last spring, the heat when the wheat head was filling, and the humidity have all contributed to the disease in the crop and poorer yields than normal. However, most of the tests weights have still been running between 59 to 61 pounds.
It’s hard to believe the summer has passed so quickly! It seems as though just last week we were waiting for our first stop in Oklahoma to ripen, and now we’re preparing to move to Northgate—about as far North as you can get in North Dakota. It just doesn’t seem like wheat harvest should be in the bin yet, even with the shorter harvest this year due to the drought and poor wheat crop in Texas and southern Oklahoma.
One thing about it—everyone in this industry has had one subject on their mind this summer: the weather. Sure, it’s common for all farmers to talk about the weather frequently, but I’ve never experienced such a large area where everyone was concerned about what the weather was doing. Not only that, but as harvest advanced further north, we continued to hear about the flooding that has been persistent since early last spring. If the weather didn’t prevent the crop from being planted, it seemed to inhibit its growth or delay harvesting this year. I think most would agree it’s been a tough year for a lot of people in this industry.
Lucius Seneca, a Roman philosopher, once said “Even after a bad harvest, there must be sowing.” As tough as it may be, the world’s agriculturists have to persevere and sow the next season’s crop. It might mean we have to work a little harder, do more ourselves, or even make sacrifices but that’s how we get by in this business. The American farmers are the backbone of this country and we all depend on them to accept these challenges and risks in order to feed the world’s growing population. We should all thank a farmer or rancher for his or her hard work and commitment to help others.
I’d personally like to thank all of our followers who have joined All Aboard Wheat Harvest this year, as well as the ones that I have seen support us for the last three years. I participate in AAWH and write for High Plains Journal to tell our story, and the stories of all custom harvesters and producers out there laboring day in and day out. Agriculture is a tiring job that many people have no desire to attempt—and many days I understand why! However, I hope our efforts have helped you to remember how much work it takes to get food from the field to the table. I’d also like to thank DuPont Crop Protection for sponsoring our crews this year, and all the sponsors who make it possible to share our lives.
Enjoy the Labor Day weekend!
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. All Aboard 2011 is sponsored by High Plains Journal and DuPont Crop Protection.