All Aboard Harvest | Janel: Linked to the land
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Janel: Linked to the land

Janel: Linked to the land

Western Nebraska—We’ve been hot and dry for weeks now. I’d say I’ve been cutting wheat every single day for nearly four weeks straight. I’ve seen a couple of pop-up thunderstorms out here in western Nebraska but neither time did we receive any rain in the field. One storm looked horrific coming towards us. I was cutting wheat and very high winds hit and there was dirt in the air and the wheat was dancing in the wind. We just kept cutting and the wind storm lasted for about thirty minutes. Luckily, all we got was wind and the rain went around us. I was amazed! It was a blessing that we got to keep harvesting. We had another pop-up thunderstorm lately which is usual out here in western Nebraska at wheat harvest time. I couldn’t believe it though, in my field we had sunshine and rainbows (literally) and the rain went around my field again!

The wheat has been yielding around 50 bushels per acre. The test weights have been 60 to 63 pounds per bushel and the ground is dry this year. Last year we dealt with a lot of mud and water holes here and had really tough wheat to cut. The sawfly damage is visible so we’ve been cutting the wheat to the ground. We’ve been working lots of hours and will probably finish here in the next couple of days and move north.

However, something’s been bothering me for weeks! Did you know that the Schemper family has been buying John Deere combines since the 1980s? We’ve been John Deere customers for a very long time. I am a U.S. custom harvester and make a living harvesting the grain that feeds the world. Running combine and this business is my livelihood. However, I’ve been very ill for the past three weeks because we’ve had a combine broke down since June 26. It’s still sitting in the field in southern Kansas. The dealership claimed they couldn’t get parts. Ok, why not? We weren’t getting answers from the service manager so I called the boss. He got the parts coming sooner which I appreciate. However, I’m devastated. I think it’s unacceptable to have to suffer the downtime (major loss of income) and get slapped with an outstanding bill to pay. When the combine is ready to go I know I’ll have to go the 350 miles back to get it. It missed 2.5 stops on harvest. Now I’m just discouraged. My entire career is linked to the land but when a combine won’t run it’s a heartbreaker. Today was just another bad day. As a customer, I want to be pampered but too many bad experiences has given me a change of heart.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc, BASF, AgriPro, Gleaner and High Plains Journal. Janel Schemper can be reached at janel@allaboardharvest.com.

Schemper Harvesting

My wheels all loaded up and ready to move to western Nebraska. 

Schemper Harvesting

I load and unload tractor grain carts too.

Schemper Harvesting

The evening of the wind storm. It was wicked.

Schemper Harvesting

We got to keep cutting wheat and we didn’t get any rain. It was just a wind storm.

Schemper Harvesting

A day of cutting wheat and the sky was dark blue to the east after the storm passed.

Schemper Harvesting

Cutting wheat in western Nebraska.

Schemper Harvesting

Harvesting wheat in western Nebraska.

Schemper Harvesting

Harvesting wheat in western Nebraska.

Schemper Harvesting

Harvesting wheat in western Nebraska and another pop-up thunderstorm approaching quickly.

Schemper Harvesting

Sunshine and rainbows in my field!

Schemper Harvesting

Sunshine and rainbows in my field!

Schemper Harvesting

The sky changes so quickly. Check out the double rainbow!

Schemper Harvesting

It was quite the sight!

Schemper Harvesting

My littlest niece came to visit me in the field!

Schemper Harvesting

My niece, Avery, and I. She couldn’t wait to ride in the combine with me! It was a nice surprise in the field!

Schemper Harvesting

I’ve been feeling awfully blue for a few weeks so Avery surprising me in the field made my day!

Schemper Harvesting

Such a cute little girl Avery! She lives in Colorado. Thanks for visiting me in the field!

10 Comments
  • Lyndell
    Posted at 12:42h, 20 July

    Four week wait for a JD combine part is unacceptable. Don’t blame you for being irritated!

  • Paul E. Tomlinson
    Posted at 12:49h, 20 July

    love the rainbow pictures! Sorry about the down time waiting for parts, but this virus has shut down so many factories, or at least cut their work force, There’s a back up on orders every where- a sad deal all the way around!

  • Norm Rotruck
    Posted at 16:34h, 20 July

    WOW!!! Know what you mean to be down with no parts! i wonder how much of this is due to Covid-19?? I wish you well and hope for the best for you! BTW, another round of beautiful pictures! Stay safe

  • Sharon Drake
    Posted at 20:26h, 20 July

    Janel, I am Sharon Drake . I live south of Wichita, ks. 60 miles and 20 miles from Oklahoma border. What was the bill of your part ? Just curious. I have had to do what you did of going to the boss on many things. It sure helps.
    Take care. We are getting rain right now. Did not last long. That’s ok. Sharon Drake. south central kansas

  • Tom Stockard
    Posted at 09:56h, 21 July

    Janel, I am quite sure JD will Waive payments on equipment and gladly pay for lost harvest acres due to JD/Corvid19. So tired of hearing that cop-out for lack of parts and service. JD knew well in advance, 2020 Wheat Harvest would happen this year. NOT OUR PROBLEM! Machine Down, Replace with a better or new machine. We make our living harvesting grain, not Corvid19 excuses.
    Main reason to buy Green USED to be Dealer Harvest Support.

  • Tom A Anderson
    Posted at 18:02h, 22 July

    Run a gleaner for awhile.

  • Tim s
    Posted at 17:53h, 23 July

    I know what it like to have a machine down waiting on parts however I think the dealer that sold that machine should of gave you another one to run

    • Janel Schemper
      Posted at 08:15h, 15 August

      Hi Tim S! Thanks for your message. That’s what everyone has said and I appreciate your message but the dealership didn’t agree. It’s too bad.
      Thanks again! -janel 🌾

  • Rob Warihay
    Posted at 19:52h, 26 July

    Does this mean you are changing colors???

  • baccarat
    Posted at 00:20h, 14 August

    Love watching sunset !