24 Jul Laura: MVPs
Northwest Kansas: The weather has been prime and the crew has been working long hours. They all deserve a public shout out for their efforts.
I know I have a few readers that aren’t as familiar with the harvest process, so I’m going to break down the responsibilities as they have been happening under the present conditions.
Combine drivers are always on the move. That’s a given, because if they aren’t running, we aren’t cutting. Unless the conditions are adverse, they are usually running at a consistent pace up and back in the field. Autosteer helps with the fatigue of running constantly for long periods.
The trucks have been running almost constantly as well. With the bushels as high as they are, there isn’t much space between arrival and receiving the next load to take to the bin or elevator unless it’s a short haul. When the yields are less, there is more sitting and waiting between loads.
The grain cart operator has really been hopping, and I use that term literally. They’ve been “hopping” or more accurately bouncing across the field constantly as they can operate at a higher speed to catch up to the combines. They match the speed with the combine during the unloading process and then speed up to meet the next combine. With multiple combines in the field, the tractor is constantly buzzing between them and rushing to load a truck before turning around to do it all again. With yields in the 90s and 100s the pace matches, and it can be even more extreme in mile long fields. When yields are lower, it can be a hurry up and wait for the cart, but they’ve been flying like worker bees the last few weeks.
I hope that helps give you a mental picture of life in the field during this first half of July!
All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Laura Haffner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.