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Laura: Farewell 2019 Wheat Harvest

Home: I just came in from working outside to type my final post. It is 93 degrees in northwest Kansas today. It is hot, but not the same kind of hot felt in June or July. I think just a little hint of fall may be in the air or maybe my mind is playing tricks on me since we just entered September. Either way, summer is rapidly coming to an end.

In a handful of days, the first group will return to headquarters from the north. There will be a few days of maintenance and conversions to prepare the machines for wet corn harvest. The other half of the crew has a little more running to do before they head south. Once at home, the prep for fall crops will repeat then they too will join the others. It will be interesting how fall harvest plays out because there was a great variety of planting dates due to the spring rains.
When I think back on the summer season, I can sum it up with the word “extreme.” It is almost hard to believe unless a person witnessed it firsthand. The beginning of the season started off a little slow due to the rains and mud. The extreme soggy soils made logistics a challenge and I’m not sure any crew wants to see a bulldozer any time soon! The middle of the run provided the excitement of record setting dryland yields and a later than normal harvest. Positive yields and weather followed us north for which harvesters and farmers alike can be thankful.

Yes, what a summer run it has been and I can’t believe it completes my fifth year on the All Aboard Wheat Harvest blog team. When I started this journey a half decade ago, I had no way to predict the highs and lows and personal growth that would have also accompanied the experience. I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime with the addition to our family, changes in the business, extremes in weather, saying goodbye to friends and family as they left this world for the next, adventures, and the miles, so many miles. Some days I wish it would slow down so I could take a moment to comprehend it all, but I’ve given up on that. These are just the things that go along with traveling the road of life while riding in the truck that is this thing called agriculture. I appreciate you, the reader, for following along with our crew and the other correspondents as we have navigated these last years together.

Thank you, also, to our customers. I’ve said it before, but I mean it. This is for you and without you, we wouldn’t be here. Thanks to our dedicated crew members who have taken everything this season has thrown at us in stride. Flexibility is key, and I appreciate you going along with the flow. We appreciate and thank all the harvest support groups like the repair teams, elevators, coops, fuel deliverers, cafes, etc. that keep us moving. Thank you to our sponsors, John Deere, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, Unverferth, and High Plains Journal for your support of this program. Telling the story of agriculture is so important, especially in this day and age, and I appreciate you believing in this mission. Finally, thanks to all the friends and family who support us behind the scenes while we’re away. We couldn’t do it without your help and patience.

With that, I close this season of blogging. If you didn’t get enough harvest this summer, this doesn’t have to be goodbye! We welcome you to join us over on our Facebook page at “High Plains Harvesting.” Also, for I’ll be doing a little personal blogging on my page, “Under the Flyover” sky which will feature thoughts on life and the good things of living rural. But, until we meet again, God bless and best wishes to you on your own journeys.

High Plains Harvesting 2019
There’s always a lot of excitement surrounding Texas since its the first stop of the season. There is much to see and a lot to learn as the new crew gets in the grove. It is also the stop we got to meet this year’s group of young ladies from Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children! It’s something I look forward to and is always a joy to interact with the women and their sponsors.

High Plains Harvesting 2019
Oklahoma has been the land of extremes the last two years. 2018 was marked by a drought and 2019 had excessive moisture and mud. It is something we won’t soon forget! The diversity is part of the adventure.

High Plains Harvesting 2019
Equally memorable were the record dryland yields that came out of western Kansas and eastern Colorado. Moisture is a huge limiting factor in the part of the world. It was great to see it all come together, in such a big way, for farmers in this area.

High Plains Harvesting 2019
At the time of this posting, harvest continues in Montana and North Dakota. Soon, crews will be making their way home and will prepare for fall harvest. (Photo by Ryan Haffner.)

High Plains Harvesting 2019
The sun may be setting on the 2019 wheat run, but more harvest is to come! Follow us on Facebook at “High Plains Harvesting” or “Under The Flyover Sky” for occasional updates from the harvest trail and rural life.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Laura Haffner can be reached at laura@allaboardharvest.com.


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