All Aboard Harvest | Janel: Harvest Surprises
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Janel: Harvest Surprises

Janel: Harvest Surprises

Frederick, Oklahoma–When we go south for harvest we are very anxious to cut wheat. We did go to the field with one combine when we arrived on May 28 and cut 50 bushel wheat that weighed 61 pounds per bushel and was 12.1 percent moisture.  Then the rain clouds arrived.  We’ve cut a few days since but have been rained out, too.  Overall, it’s been a slow start.

We attended the annual Case IH harvest safety school in Frederick, Oklahoma, on May 29 and their safety video is a must-see especially for young people.  This is a dangerous occupation and safety is very much a priority.  We also attended the annual MacDon harvest meeting in Vernon, Texas, on May 30.  We were served breakfast at 7 a.m. at both meetings and, as always, it was very much appreciated by us harvesters.  Thank you both!

I have had a few harvest surprises already. My first surprise was when we went to grease the S770 combine that I run and found an oil leak on a tire.  It was a final drive problem.  Oh no!  We took it off and got it fixed right away in the morning.  That afternoon when I went to the field I was just enjoying cutting wheat and being back in the combine and out in the field harvesting.  Then, to my surprise my brand new header was causing me problems.  While cutting wheat the reel shut off twice.  The second time it happened I went and parked by the pickup and grabbed some wrenches to tighten up a few things but the reel still wouldn’t turn.  My dad stopped his combine to look my header over and the reel fell off.  A u-joint broke in the middle of the header so we called the header harvest support for help to fix it as soon as possible.  They came to the field and said they’d have to order parts.  We needed to get the field cut because it was predicted to rain overnight.  We stayed out until midnight and got the field cut with only one combine instead of two.  Like always, it’s a race against the weather and the farmer wants his wheat cut!

My header parts didn’t show up over night so the next day I ran my dad’s combine and tried two fields and the wheat just wasn’t quite ready to be cut yet anyways. I cut a load in each field then got showered out.  So, we moved to another field about ten miles east of where we were and cut for just a while and again the rain clouds followed us to that field too.  All I can say is we tried our best to get some wheat cut.  We ended up getting about a half inch of rain over the weekend.

On Monday morning we went out to where my combine and broke down header were sitting expecting the header parts to be there and work on getting the header fixed but once again another surprise. We looked the combine over and the final drive was leaking oil again.  How can one girl that just wants to cut wheat so badly have such bad luck to start out the harvest?  Combine and header breakdowns at the same time is a headache.  Does anyone else have these same problems?  Anyways, John Deere Harvest Support and the MacDon Harvest Support both showed up and we put a new final drive on the combine and got the header fixed too.  Hopefully my harvest surprises are over and I can go full speed ahead once harvest gets in full swing!

We will more than likely be busy cutting for a few days and then more rain in the forecast. Again, rain rain go away!  The weather doesn’t always cooperate with our business.  We just wish for some luck getting some wheat cut!  We’ve got work to do but we just need the right conditions to get it accomplished and move on to the next harvest stop on our route where they’ll be waiting on us to arrive!

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere.  Janel Schemper can be reached at janel@allaboardharvest.com.

Schemper Harvesting 2019

MacDon Harvest Support is very much appreciated. 

Schemper Harvesting 2019

MacDon Harvest Support getting our headers ready.

Schemper Harvesting 2019

MacDon Harvest Support is very much appreciated.

Schemper Harvesting 2019

Working on the final drive the first time.

Schemper Harvesting 2019

My brother Jared knows how to fix equipment.

Schemper Harvesting 2019

Check out this John Deere 4400.

Schemper Harvesting 2019

Combines aren’t little anymore.

Schemper Harvesting 2019

Miss Moo wouldn’t fit in this cab!

Schemper Harvesting 2019

I cut one load in this field on June 1 but the grain wasn’t quite dry enough yet.

Schemper Harvesting 2019

A nice crop but we need some heat and wind to dry it out.

Schemper Harvesting 2019

I just want to cut wheat when I get to the field.  We were just sampling here.

Schemper Harvesting 2019

The ground is wet here.  Some fields have standing water in them.

Schemper Harvesting 2019

Miss Moo wanting a combine ride but the clouds moved in and it rained again.

Schemper Harvesting 2019

Sierra learning all the bells and whistles in the combine cab from her dad, Jared.  She’s been running this new combine and header! 

Schemper Harvesting 2019

Getting the reel fixed on the header and the combine final drive for the second time all in one afternoon on June 3!

Schemper Harvesting 2019

It’s harvest time in this little town.

Schemper Harvesting 2019

Time to cut wheat but the weather has delayed us.

Schemper Harvesting

As a kid this is where I went to bible school! 

Schemper Harvesting

The harvest meals are delicious!  We’ve been cooking for 11 on our crew.

2 Comments
  • marcy mcclelland
    Posted at 09:17h, 14 June

    Sorry you have had such bad luck with your machine, however lucky that parts and help is available. I wish you the best, good luck and no rain for a few days to get the harvest started.

  • Tom Stegmeier
    Posted at 20:28h, 19 June

    Thanks for the info Janel ,bugger you had a bad go with your combine & header . As a Turf Tech ( golf course mechanic ) for the last 20 plus years , to me break downs come in three 1 operator error 2 poor design 3 not pdi at the dealership.. Are these both new pieces of equipment ? I know how you feel about waiting on parts . Hope you get some of that big time cutt’n weather soooon,. Give Miss Moo a big rub, Work Safe !!