12 Jun Janel: A Survival Harvest 2018
Weatherford, Oklahoma – What an interesting spring we had this year. The cold winter air finally gave up in May. I was asked over 100 times when I was leaving for harvest. I typically don’t have the answer until the time comes to leave for harvest, but I estimated a June 1st start date. I drove truck five days per week during the harvest off season up until three days before we left for harvest. Most days, I would leave the shop yard at 5:30 a.m. and haul soybeans or corn all day long and return back to the shop yard in the evening. While I was busy trucking I was dreaming of the days filled with amber waves of grain!
The best news I have is that Miss Moo (my dog) and I have new wheels again for harvest. We have a new John Deere s770 combine and 40′ MacDon header which we are enjoying. I just wish I could cut wheat all day every day! I have a feeling our acres will be short on our entire wheat harvest route. I am just going to call this harvest a survival harvest.
Part of our crew went to southwest Oklahoma for the start of our wheat harvest. We were expecting the yields to be much worse. In the Frederick, Oklahoma area the yield range was 35 to 51 bushels per acre. Test weights were 62 to 65 pounds. The protein was 11.5% to 12.5%. However, we only sent two of our combines to our first harvest stop on May 27th. They got there and went straight to the field. We were way short on acres this year due to the drought which is very disappointing. I always look forward to the harvest and our first stop but this year it’s just stressful. A lot of the wheat was grazed and baled. Right now, cotton is being planted in southwest Oklahoma. If the drought continues there won’t be much of a cotton crop either and then more than likely lots of wheat acres will be planted in the fall. Overall, the wheat yields were better than expected. My dad tells the story so well about many years ago when we got to our first harvest stop and 2/3 of the wheat crop was hailed out. Now that is a severe disappointment.
I myself went south for harvest on May 31st. We started cutting June 1st in the Weatherford, Oklahoma area and have stayed busy. I think it may be the first time ever that we cut the entire crop and didn’t get rained out even once. We were fortunate to have harvest weather which is what I love! Most days were 100 plus degrees and the humidity under 50% which is what we need to have dry wheat. The yields were 35 bushels per acre and the test weights were all nearly 64 pounds and the protein 13.5 %. That is a decent wheat crop.
Now that we have worked ourselves out of work we are looking for work until southern Kansas is ready for us. We all just might be sitting around for a week looking for work. I am hopeful that we’ll find some wheat to cut. Our Kansas run looks awfully short on acres this year. We are looking for more work all the time that is for sure. Trust me when I tell you this – all I want to do is be in the field and cutting wheat all day, every day. Please contact me if you would like wheat harvested. Our website is www.schemperharvesting.com. Thanks!
All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Janel Schemper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.