05 Jul Steph: Well hey there, St. Francis!
The home base for Osowski Ag Service has now moved from Lyons to St. Francis, Kan. Last year, it seemed like we could never get ahead of the wheat. We would get to one stop and the harvest would be half done. Just when you think one year is weird, the next year comes along and proves you wrong. We arrived here on Monday late afternoon and it is now Thursday and our combine has yet to see a field. The wheat around here is not anticipated to be that great. Anyone who has been able to cut here has seen anywhere from 50s to low 20s in yield, so it is anybody’s guess how it will all pan out. Dad has an uncanny ability to find Brandon and I not-so-fun jobs to do when we aren’t harvesting so we have made sure to keep ourselves occupied. Or at least make it seem that way.
I was able to catch up with Shirley Zweygardt this afternoon at the St. Francis Equity. She has been their grain merchandiser for the past 6 years and has been working there for a grand total of 34 years and I thought her insight on harvest might be of interest to you. Her job entitles her to maintain grain records, buying and selling of grain, and handling the profit/loss records.
Shirley strikes a pose for me in the scale house!
Being on harvest, I know that no two days are alike and if you ask Shirley, that is the type of response she would give you about her job as well. “One days 30 loads will come in and the next it will be none. Sometimes it picks up at 6pm so we sit around all day waiting for something to happen.” Shirley also says they are expecting to receive only 1/3 of the bushels that they took in from last year, which was a little over one million bushels. The drought this area has suffered is the main cause behind this. Not enough wheat has been brought in at this point to know any sort of definite yield, but test weights have been anywhere from low 50s to low 60s thus far.
Since I did this interview today, July 4th, I had to ask her take on being in an industry where working holidays is no surprise. Shirley’s response? “I have been here 34 years and have only had 3 4th of July’s off in all that time. As long as it is busy, it doesn’t bother me.”
I hope everyone has a fantastic and safe 4th of July! We have no idea what we are going to do tonight to celebrate but you’ll find out soon!
Check out the car pile up that was behind us when traveling through Ellsworth, Kan. Don’t worry, we pulled over just outside of town so they could pass.
I think old barns have so much character.
Harvest Support got new pickups!
Retrieving a shield for our sieve straight from the truck, which is parked in Goodland, Kan.
View of the elevator in Sainty.
This is the screen you would refer to for the weight of incoming trucks if you were employed at the St. Francis Equity.
A wheat sample. A little too wet though, 18% moisture.
All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and Syngenta. You can contact Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.