All Aboard Harvest | Laura: Southeastern Colorado
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Laura: Southeastern Colorado

Did you all have a safe and healthy Fourth of July? I hope so! Lady A and Little Man just love the holiday and are a little let down that it has already come and gone. It is rare that we weren’t in the field cutting. The crew in western Kansas got rained out with approximately 60 acres to go so they had the evening off and shot some firecrackers at our headquarters. The children had a fun few days launching fireworks with friends in the neighborhood.

I’m a little behind on the news but that is by purpose to illustrate how different each year can be. Last year for the Fourth, we were cutting hard in southeast Colorado and the kids enjoyed an evening of fireworks with our farm family. This year, that job was completed on June 25. That’s a fairly big difference with the seasons and how maturity can fluctuate year to year. Little Man and Lady A were disappointed that we didn’t get to have a repeat of the holiday together, but we still enjoyed a special time of swimming, backyard play and many laughs with our friends.

Another difference was the decrease in yields. Last year we were seeing record yields in southeastern Colorado and southwest Kansas. Some places saw drylands has high as 100 bushels an acre. It was absolutely incredible. This year, the same region is in a severe drought. Our farmer told me that some of the areas in southeast Colorado had seen just three inches of moisture since last July. Three inches. That’s tough on the morale and crops. Many in the area include fallow in their rotations which does help.Yields were around 30 bushels an acre, which while tough, may be a little better than expected under the environmental conditions.

The crew’s time in southeast Colorado was marked with pop-up thunderstorms as one would expect this time of year. We were fortunate enough to miss the majority, but one finally did get the best of us and ended a 26-day cutting streak.

This stop is one of my favorites with the wide open views and always changing conditions. There’s nothing like seeing the white dust clouds of trucks and combines against a dark blue, stormy backdrop. Thunderstorms on the High Plains are incredible to watch. Its like a live IMAX video live in living color. I’ve included some pictures of a storm I witnessed while in the area. As intense as it looks, the storm just missed our crew and the team was able to continue cutting later that evening.

High Plains Harvesting 2020
Happy Fourth of July!

High Plains Harvesting
This food truck hooked me up with a great enchilada box the evening I took food to the crew while in the area. (Photo credit: Little Man)

High Plains Harvesting
The yearly obligatory sign photo!

High Plains Harvesting
Little Man launches out of the slide on the day we went to the pool with our farm family.
High Plains Harvesting
The edge of the storm coming in.

High Plains Harvesting 2020
Mark M. watching the storm roll in.

High Plains Harvesting
If you look on the horizon, you can see the machines running out in front of the storm.

High Plains Harvesting
Dumping everything before the storm.

It looked like it was going to slam us, but ended up missing us by just a hair!

My AAWH email issue is resolved!  I look forward to hearing from you! 

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc., Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, Agri-Pro, Gleaner, BASF, and High Plains Journal. Laura can be reached at

  • Paul E. Tomlinson
    Posted at 15:08h, 10 July

    Great pictures! I look forward to the Welcome” sigh every Sept. when I go out to the mts.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 12:20h, 25 July

      Right?!?! State signs are fun. Glad you get to go to the mountains each year.

  • Norm Rotruck
    Posted at 13:49h, 11 July

    Loved the pictures and commentary!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 12:21h, 25 July

      Thanks for the feedback, Norm! 🙂

  • Mindy Schneider
    Posted at 15:25h, 16 July

    Another wheat harvest in the books. No ground piles at the elevator this year. Deep breath, figure out my school year and before you know it, we will be gearing up for another harvest. Stay safe my friends!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 11:56h, 28 July

      Thanks, Mindy! Same to you!

  • Tom Stegmeier
    Posted at 19:40h, 16 July

    Laura ,great read & super pictures ,boy Lady A & Little Man sure have gown !! 26 days of cutting reminds me of 1975 we had a 67 410 Massey ,a 63 1600 corn binder (IH) grain truck Dad & I harvested for the same time 26days a few 5am finish ‘s but most 1am ,we’d get going around 1oam.. Dad back the late thirties hauled bundles to a thrashing machine for 38 days. Thanks so much for your time my summer would be pretty dull with out AAWH.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 12:21h, 25 July

      Love hearing stories of harvests gone by! Thanks for taking time to share, Tom!