06 Jul Tracy: Now what?
Garden City, Kansas – My oh my… the days certainly run into each other, and the weeks are gone before you know it! We left home four weeks ago this past Sunday (7/2). Seems like a whirlwind of events since we pulled away from the driveway as Taylor and Jenna were waving goodbye.
First of all, Jamie would like me to apologize to all the harvesters out there. It is HER fault that we are up against no work, and we continue to lose acres to cut. You see, back in November she announced to us she and Curt were expecting baby #3. The very first thing I did was count ahead nine months, and all I could do was hang my head. The due date…July 17. Well dang! This doesn’t work very good when you know you’ll be away on the wheat harvest but maybe… just maybe… I can get away for a few days to help. I wasn’t going to worry about it because God always has a plan, and it might just work that I could escape for a few days. I was thinking we should be in Colorado at that time and maybe it’ll work that someone can sit in the combine for me while I run back home. So the prayers started. And now? Well, you know the rest of the story. In all honesty, with things the way they are for everyone right now, I am hoping I can get back home for a few days. Although, it is quite possible that the few days will lead to a couple of months.
Okay, let’s back up to Texas when we found out we had all of our Garden City acres hailed out. That very day, Jim made a couple of phone calls, and one was to an acquaintance we had in Garden City. Well, that phone call paid off. We loaded the combine a week ago Sunday (6/25) and headed to Garden City. The next day, we unloaded and had the day to ourselves before getting started again. We were blessed with visitors. Smiling faces and a hug was something I was in dire need of. Little did they know, these HarvestHERs showed up at just the right time!
And then we went back to work.
The wheat in this area had been exposed to freezing temperatures for several days prior to having 22 inches of wet, heavy snow dumped on top of it late in April. We were so worried about the outcome after the wintery storm… who would have known it was the other white stuff we should have been concerned about. This wheat is also irrigated – not dryland farming. The straw was tough. It was high-yielding and VERY slow going. The number of acres I was able to cut in a day was less than half of what we were doing in Texas. You have to have patience when sitting in a combine cutting at 2 mph (or less) all day long. The anticipation of getting a field finished the same day it’s started just has to disappear and the quicker, the better. Although, it is fun to watch the yield monitor go as high as 130 bushels per acre. We are finished now, and the end result is an average of 65 bushels per acre. There were a couple of lower yielding fields that brought the end result down. There was one field that had a 75 bushel average. The test weights were 60 to 62 pounds. I don’t know if the wheat we cut was a variety that withstood the late wintery weather better than others. I’m sure there was wheat that didn’t fare as well, but I was quite surprised about the end result. In April, the fear of the unknown was experienced by both the farmer and the harvester. It did, however, confirm my grandpa’s saying, “Wheat will die about seven deaths before being harvested.”
Both videos were recorded by Kent Braathen of Braathen Harvesting.
Now what? It’s a day-to-day thing. After today, we will load up and head north to the Sharon Springs, Kansas area to cut acres harvest friends (Krumbach Harvesting) had to leave so they could make their move to Nebraska. That should keep us busy for a day or so and then? Who knows? Maybe it will be time to head home to welcome our newest grandchild!
All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Tracy Zeorian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org