All Aboard Harvest | Northwest Kansas update
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Northwest Kansas update

Northwest Kansas update

All Aboard Wheat Harvest Laura HaffnerNorthwest Kansas—I realize it has been a little while since I last updated you. I think I have enough information now, so I’m going to give this a shot. It has been a little difficult to catch the guys to get enough information to be able to piece together a story. When they’re this busy and pressed, and have storm chances again in the forecast for later this week, I hate to keep pestering them for “detailed” field news. As an example, we’ve probably seen Ryan four waking hours since June 22; that may be a generous number!

Lots of crews were on the roadways over the past several days, including our own. All of our crew members are now back in Kansas.

The Victoria crew finished up south of Gorham. That combine moved to the Colby area on Monday.

Ryan and the Pratt group moved back to the area Sunday after finishing up down there. It sounds like yields came out around 65 bushels per acre with test weights ranging from 60 to 63 pounds. This crew has been cutting north of Quinter and also around the Collyer area. Field totals haven’t been calculated yet, but the monitors are showing a range of yields from 20 to 35 bushels per acre with test weights ranging from 50 to 58 so far.

Mark and crew are cutting around the Hoxie area. They ran into some wet wheat last night so they shut down early. (And by early I mean around dark!) It is a little too soon to say for sure, but Mark thought this irrigated circle had the potential to go around 90 bushels per acre! On dryland acres, he has been seeing yield ranges from around 30 to 50 bushels per acre. This area was not immune to the rust issues that were prevalent with late-season rains and cooler temperatures. There was fungicide use in the region to combat this problem.

As for me, I have been trying to keep things as normal as possible for Little Man while balancing the behind-the-scenes jobs for the crew and taking care of things at home. I thought about taking a picture of our mound of mail and bills, but that was depressing compared to beautiful combine pictures. I sure appreciate our crew sending in their pictures for me to share with you!

Mark talked to our farmer in southern Montana, and that job may be two weeks away from cutting. Colorado will likely be ready next week as they have been experiencing 100 degree temperatures the last several days. It sounds like there is rust in the Nebraska Panhandle. Ryan said one of our Montana jobs has been hailed out and they will not be needing help this year.

The next few weeks are going to be interesting. I feel like a broken record as I have been saying that or something similar all season! To give you perspective, last year in late July, we were just finishing up in Nebraska and Colorado!

Until next time…

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 The photo above is from Dalton and the one below is from Michael, our two crew members from Tennessee.  I think it’s safe to say they have developed an appreciation of our sunsets here on the Plains! 

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I captured the photo below of the crew working south of Gorham, Kansas, on Sunday.

Below is the crew enjoying some homemade lunch we delivered while they waiting for the wheat to dry down near Loretta, Kansas.

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Mark sent in these two photos this morning. The weed control seems to be excellent on these fields!

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Little Man likes to help in the field and kitchen—what a guy! He’s making some sweet treats for sack lunches. 

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. You can contact Laura at laura@allaboardharvest.com.

3 Comments
  • Dan McGrew
    Posted at 08:00h, 02 July

    Sounds as if the harvest of 1952 has caught up with you.
    I started chasing that harvest at Canyon, Texas the morning of July 5, after finishing the year at Okla. A&M (Now OSU), then helping my father for six weeks for the usual ZERO wages, before hitch-hiking west along US Route 66.
    Got a ride with a driller heading for Thermopolis about 5 a.m., into Kansas well before 9 a.m., up to Lusk, Wyoming about 1 a.m. the 6th.
    There a southbound custom harvester reported North Dakota would wrap up within the week and Canadian wheat would be cutting within two days.
    I left the driller and headed for the mountain hay harvest, which would at least last through August. Threw in with a couple of Wisconsin steel mill workers who were free because of a nationwide strike. [Translation– The companies had built about a year’s stockpile of steel inventory, so refused to negotiate until the workers had no choice but to strike.]
    The older guy from the mills never went back, remained in northern Colorado and eventually partnered with a top hand in their own ranch.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 15:26h, 02 July

      Thanks for sharing your memories, Dan! I enjoy hearing about other’s harvest experiences!

  • mark oetken
    Posted at 22:37h, 04 July

    I have enjoyed your comments I used travel to Denver co from I owa with freight it was good to see some of the harvest I harvested in southeast Iowa for many years as a custom harvester