All Aboard Harvest | Tracy: Getting Back in the Groove
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Tracy: Getting Back in the Groove

Garden City, Kansas – The word that has been out of most farmer’s vocabulary for a very long time, recently returned. RAIN…

It never seems to fail. As soon as the combines are unloaded and ready to go to work, it rains. I know I’ve said this before but I’m going to say it again. I honestly believe we custom harvesters need to travel the country with our loaded combine, unload it and wait. It won’t take very long. It typically happens shortly after our arrival to a new destination. I would hate to say, “I guarantee” because there are no guarantees when it comes to the weather – or harvest. But it happens…A LOT!

We made two trips from Chase to Garden City, back to back. We left with the first load on Friday morning, arrived in Garden City, gathered a few necessary items for the road (just in case we needed a tool) and headed back towards Lyons. The storm clouds were brewing and we were watching. And they got closer and we hoped we could outrun the storm. Not this time. It caught up to us as we were traveling north of Dodge City and we drove in it for the next 60 miles. Jim battled VERY strong winds and rain (sideways) all the way to Larned.

Z Crew

We loaded the combine the next morning, settled up with our farmer and headed the trucks south for Garden, once again. We arrived just as the storm clouds began rolling in. The next morning, we woke up to the sound of hail hitting the roof of the trailer house – at 5:00 am. By the time it was done, all three sky vents were broken and both pickups had hail damage. Luckily, no windows were broken. And the wheat wasn’t damaged.  But, we did receive 5+” of rain over the course of several days.

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This was the storm that welcomed us to Garden City the second time.

Z Crew

The ground was nearly white with various sizes of these devils. This was one of the larger ones I found right outside the door.

We had a few days off – just as we were getting into the harvest groove.

Z Crew

I started the project – fixing drawer latches – but Jim and his drill came to the rescue and finished it with ease. Sort of.

Z Crew

One evening, we decided to walk to the truck stop. We used to do that with the girls when they were little. Go to the truck stop for something to do. I think they still like to do that. This was the night sky as we were headed back to the trailer house. If you look real close, you can see the cab of The Beast on the right side of the picture.

Today, just a week after we cut the final head of wheat in Chase, we were able to return to the field. And it seemed like it was the most unproductive day possible. We were quite a distance from the elevator and everyone got back in the field, as well. The truck line took time, which didn’t allow Jim to get back to the field quick enough to get the second truck headed down the road. The wheat appears to be making 50 bushels per acre so the combine’s grain bin was filling quickly. I filled my truck and took it to the elevator. Jim filled his truck and took it to the elevator. We did this most of the afternoon. Unfortunately, the combine would have to sit idle for a bit but there was no getting around it. Maybe tomorrow the fields will be closer to the elevator and at the end of the day, we can feel like we were able to get something done.

Z Crew

Following Jim to the field so we could go back to the farmyard and get the trucks.

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And it’s GO TIME!

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My view this evening from the cab.

Speaking of tomorrow, Mike Williams with the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children will be coming for a visit and will be bringing kids to experience harvest. I had the BEST time with them last year! I can’t wait to see their faces and teach them about what it takes to get food on their table. Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children is one of the sponsors for the All Aboard Wheat Harvest. I appreciate what they do to make this program possible and I’d like to encourage you to check out their website. They do amazing things for children who are in need of a place to call home.

Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children is the largest provider of private, not-for-profit, residential childcare in the state. We do not charge for our services or accept government funds. We do not discriminate on placement based on race, color, national origin, or religious affiliation.


And while you’re checking them out, be sure to read up on the 10 Acre Challenge!

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Tracy Zeorian can be reached at

  • Laura Haffner
    Posted at 09:00h, 30 June

    Great storm pictures, Tracy! Almost looked you up as we were heading out yesterday, but was trying to beat the storm I could see in the distance!

    • z crew
      Posted at 23:38h, 01 July

      Hey, thanks Laura!! I don’t think any of mine will ever be any better than the ones you’ve had on your blog! I LOVE storms and clouds but I also know it comes down to being in the right place at the right time. I’m glad you didn’t stop! We’ll see each other again, soon. If not…in March!