20 Aug Megan: 2013 Harvest Recap
As another wheat harvest season slowly begins to wind down, I reflect upon the summer, as I do every year. Reminiscing is always full of the ups and downs from the season, as well as comparisons to the years before and those yet to come. This summer was off to late a start, with harvest running almost a month behind from last year’s run. However, similar to last season, many areas in the wheat belt were still fighting the drought, making for lower yields, especially in southern states. Late winter weather and frost also made an impact on much of the wheat, but some of it surprised us and managed to make average yields or above. The wheat crop began to improve in northern Oklahoma and into parts of Kansas. Unfortunately, due to the lack of moisture much of the wheat remained very short, making cutting rather challenging at many of these stops. During this time Roland Harvesting added some “firsts” to our list by purchasing a stripper header and combining peas. Home harvest in Nebraska was much better than anticipated but rain showers made this stop considerably longer than we had hoped. Roland Harvesting recently made the move up north and is currently split up for the time being. Brandon and his crew are in North Dakota, waiting on green wheat and trying to steer clear of the rain storms passing through almost daily. Meanwhile, Dad and Mom are harvesting malting barley in Wyoming.
Brandon, Jose, Eric, and Kasey will be returning to college in a couple of weeks and it seems as if it’s only natural for them to look back upon all the events and stories from the last few months. Today, as we were all laughing about some of the ridiculous things that have happened this season, Brandon turns to me and says, “Megan, isn’t it so sad that this is your last summer on harvest?!” As soon as the words left his lips, it hit me. Who says this is the last one? Summer and harvest will always go hand in hand, whether I am actually out in the wheat field or hundreds of miles away. My life, along with my family’s life has been shaped by harvest and it will continue to influence us.
So, to say that this is my “last” summer on harvest is inaccurate on many levels. I’ve thought for the past three years that it would be my “last” summer on harvest and somehow I have always ended up back on the harvest trail. It’s impossible to know what the future holds but I’ve come to enjoy every day and make the most of each moment. As I’ve learned from my older sister, Ashley, harvest doesn’t cease to exist just because you aren’t able to go on the road full time. Harvest is a way of life and that can never be changed. My family’s livelihood is built from the challenges, memories, and values we have gained and encountered through harvest. Although I have decided to pursue a career in nursing, I truly hope to return to a rural area and continue my involvement with agriculture. All in all, no matter where I end up I will always make time for harvest. There is no way you can keep me away from those gorgeous sunsets over wheat fields!
My harvest posts would not have been possible without my wonderful family and our harvesting operation. Also, a big shout out to the all of our faithful customers who have kept Roland Harvesting in business for the past 35 years! We would not have made it this far without you all!
All Aboard Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and Syngenta. Megan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.