08 Jun Jada: Hurry up and wait
Hoffman Harvesting left home on May 25. With the late spring, preparations seemed to take place in a whirlwind amidst calving, taking cattle out to pasture and planting/ seeding. Since we weren’t able to get everything done, we left one of our crew members behind, Fraser of England, to finish our last 50 acres and some other odds and ends. We were in a hurry because the wheat was ready. Little did we know that rain would have helped us get our last minute to dos done.
Another random field moment…. a coyote takes a walk at dusk in the field we cut.
Much to our astonishment, our trip South went well. Usually breakdowns or blown tires accompany the 1000 mile trip. The only companion we had on this trip was rain. Due to this, we decided to stay an extra day in Kiowa to prepare our machines in the cooler temperatures. We loaded and installed radios and did what we could do to be ready for the second leg of our trip. Crew member, Adam of Kansas, also joined us.
Back from last year, Theo watches wheat unloading from his truck into the auger.
Alex dumps a load on the truck.
The next day we arrived in Olney but soon found out the rain would cause us to wait on the wheat. Green suckers sprouted from the rain showers our farmer received and we had a week long wait. During this time, we unloaded and did some testing. In the end, we decided the Annual Campbell Cookout would have to take place in the beginning of our stay instead of the end. As any harvester can claim, good things can come from a hurry up and wait situation.
Finally in the field, the bosses- Mike and Leon- are finally able to discuss wheat.
Once we were able to cut we discovered the wheat was as expected- not as great as normal. The wheat wasn’t very tall but didn’t look too bad considering its grow history. The yields of the crops ranged 8 to 17 bushels per acre. The damage from the frost is what the majority of the problem stemmed from. While lack of moisture didn’t help either, things did seem to be greener than last year.
Flagged wheat due to frost damage. The heads look fine, but are empty and shatter upon being touched.
Unfortunately things are drier than they appear. People are watching their water intake. The city pool will not be filled, citizens cannot use any water outside, the local car wash is required to shut down several days a week and people are finding ways to save their intake. Some even have pails to catch water from their shower to help water their plants and trees. Cattlemen have to sell cattle when ponds dry up. The lake they receive their water source is around 23%. The solution….Wichita Falls, Texas is looking into making sewer water into drinkable water. Several locals have said in regards to their water situation… “What we need is a flood.”
Cacti can be the result of no till in Texas.
All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Jada can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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