23 Jun Brian: Oklahoma Harvest Begins…With A Twist(er)!
Thomas, Oklahoma–We arrived safely in Thomas, Oklahoma, with the equipment. A long trek we are glad to have behind us. It took a little longer than expected, as we had to pull over on the side of the road after the engine of one of the semi’s suddenly shut off and would not restart. Narrow roads and wide loads pulled off on the shoulder are not a good combination. Harvesters dread this type of scenario, as it leaves little room for oncoming traffic to get around our equipment. We must be very mindful to not create any un-due hazards that could lead to an accident or someone being hit by traffic. Being forced to work roadside on a disabled wide load is stress we could all live without, but some quick thinking led to a temporary fix that got us all back onto the road with only a short delay.
A few combines were sampling or harvesting in the area as we arrived. We parked and set up the house trailers, ate a quick lunch and then headed out to unload the machines. We received our first field assignment from our farmer and headed out to officially get harvest under way. It’s always extra stressful during those first few hours of harvest, reacquainting ourselves with the controls of the machines, checking calibrations and adjustments, and scrutinizing the new equipment to make sure the factory tightened all the bolts and there are no oil leaks.
Everything looked good as we wrapped up day 1. We saw yields in the 50 to 60 bushels per acre range with 60 pound test weight, one of the nicest looking crops in this area for quite some time. You will recall this area last year suffered from severe drought conditions. There is always an extra-satisfying feeling of getting the first day under your belt … you finally, really feel harvest is under way.
Day 2 started off good, but by late afternoon severe weather watches and warnings began to appear on our phones. Radar showed some very severe weather in the area as two weather systems attempted to merge into a super storm. Soon we found ourselves in a severe thunderstorm warning. Not the way we wanted to kick off harvest. Then … a tornado warning was issued with a confirmed touchdown 2 miles away.
Click on the video link below to watch an update recorded live during storm, as well as a post-storm evaluation of the damage the tornado left behind. We are officially on rain delay here in Oklahoma.
All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Be sure to join the conversation by leaving a question or comment. Brian can be reached at Brian@allaboardharvest.com
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