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Megan: Roland Harvesting Rollin’ With the Punches

Megan_thumbnailHemingford, Neb. – When it comes to harvest you can try to make plans but there are countless unforeseen circumstances that often overrule your preparations.  Weather, breakdowns, timing, sickness, employees, and accidents, are just a few things that can influence our plans and change our anticipated direction.  Due to these things flexibility is the most important characteristic for custom harvesters to possess. Like we always say, we have no choice but to “roll with the punches!” Last year Roland Harvesting hit the road on May 8 and was cutting wheat by May 10 in southern Oklahoma. Granted, last summer was one for the books, as that was the earliest we have ever left for harvest. Just one year later, it’s now the end of May and we have yet to even move south.

Dad and Brandon have been staying in close contact with our farmers so we know our time frame for getting to our first few stops on time. Unfortunately, many regions in Texas and Oklahoma have been experiencing extreme weather conditions including numerous freezes, drought, and rain in an untimely manner. The extent of the damage to the wheat remains unknown at this time. We always hope for the best but expect to embrace the worst. With this kind of attitude we can never be let down and often end up pleasantly surprised. It sounds like the wheat near our first stop of Altus, Oklahoma will be ready at the beginning of next week. This means we can hopefully hit the road in the next few days!

While we “hurry up and wait” for the wheat to ripen up, we have been keeping PLENTY busy at home on the farm. Being both custom harvesters and farmers means that we are often stuck in the middle of a very tricky juggling act. Since harvest is a bit later this year and our entire crew is already available we have been trying to get as much done as possible on the farm. The crew’s days have been spent spraying fields, cleaning the shop, fixing fence, working cattle, and planting corn, peas, safflowers, sunflowers, and millet. Also, training videos, first aid reviews, CDL physicals, and other such paperwork has been getting checked off with each passing day.  In between time all of the harvest equipment has also been serviced, cleaned, and loaded up.  Now we are just anxiously waiting to begin our journey south!

Dad in planter
Dad looks in the manual to find the correct planter setting for dryland sunflowers. Planter and fertilzer settings are different for each crop so it’s important to always check out the details.

Kasey with decals
Kasey puts the finishing touches on our new Roland Harvesting decals that can be seen on either side of the combines. They sure look snazzy!

Eric and Jose
Eric and Jose head out on the four-wheeler to check and fix fence in the pasture. As you can tell by the jackets, we have had typical spring weather during our time at home. Rain and 40 degree weather one day, then 80 degrees and sunshine the next.  Last fall we had a very scary experience with a fire on our farm so we’re just glad to see any type of moisture coming our way! (More details on the fire in a later post.)

Sprayer in yard
The sprayer is a common sight in the yard during this time of year. It makes numerous trips to the hydrant throughout the day as the tank is filled up with more water.

Crew in shirts
The 2013 Roland Harvesting crew sporting our new All Aboard Wheat Harvest t-shirts! Don’t they look great?! Left to right: Megan, Kasey, Brandon, Dad, Jose, and Eric. (Mom is not pictured since she insisted on taking the photo.)

Crew on combine
Eric, Jose, Kasey, Brandon, and I show off our tough sides on the loaded CR 9070 combine. I wish I could have posted all the pictures from this “photo shoot” – these young men make for a very enthusiastic and entertaining crew!

All Aboard Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and Syngenta. Megan can be reached at megan@allaboardharvest.com.


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