North Dakota Nonsense

Dickinson, N.D. – The crew officially started wheat harvest in North Dakota about two weeks ago. The days have been filled with sampling, cutting, sitting in rain, and moving around to find dry (and ripe) fields. Intermittent rain showers have dampened our spirits and significantly slowed down progress. However, our farmer has a few drying bins so once the rain stops we typically get back into the fields quickly. The wheat that is placed in the drying bins can be up to 22% moisture. With such flexibility we can get back to cutting several hours, or often days, before we usually can. It sure beats playing the “babysitting game” of waiting for the 13.5% moisture that most elevators require. Even though the grain is dry enough to thrash, the fields are often still a mess from the downpours. Mud and tow ropes seem to be a common theme for Roland Harvesting this summer. As you may have guessed, within this post you will find more of our infamous “stuck” pictures.

Since this is the last stop of wheat harvest, several other challenges arise as the end of summer creeps closer. After months of living with coworkers, driving endless miles, working extensive hours, and surviving stressful situations each person is tested with every passing day. The crew is exhausted, tempers run high, patience wears thin, and some days are just plain rough. But even with these various challenges the crew sticks together and is able to push through the hardships. Jokes across the CB radio, milkshakes with dinner, and support amongst one another are little things that help pull the crew out of this slump. Brandon, Jose, and Eric have about a week left before they have to return to Wyoming to begin another year of college. Everyone is trying knock out as many acres as possible before part of the crew is lost. Don’t worry, working under pressure is what Roland Harvesting does best!

Beautiful stubble
When the weather cooperates we are able conquer big ol’ fields like this one.

Rainbow to finish off the day
However, when the storms start rolling in the entire operation is effected. The combines have been shut many half days due to rain and have only sat completely idol for two full days.

Jose races to get the grain cart unloaded before it starts to downpour.

CR stuck
And with the rain comes mud. Brandon was the first to get stuck in North Dakota.

Combine being pulled out
Thankfully, our farmer’s tractor came to the rescue!

Standing water
Yep, that’s standing water.

Tractor stuck
After Brandon, it was Jose’s turn to get stuck.

Truck stuck
And then came the semi’s chance.

Here’s the aftermath. The crew was crossing through a pasture to get to the next field and instead spent the next couple hours playing in the mud.

When we are able to get cutting most fields have been yielding between 50 to 60 bushels per acre with tests weights around 62 pounds.

Cutting away
Life is good.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Megan can be reached at


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