All Aboard Harvest | Janel: Life on the road
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Janel: Life on the road

Southwestern North Dakota–Life on the road is what I know but it isn’t for the faint of heart. There are a lot of unknowns out here on harvest. Being a custom harvester is a fingers-crossed hope it all works out, kind of day-to-day gamble. Some days I have a gut ache or a headache and sometimes even heart ache. This career comes with stress. We work hard and often I’m praying with my eyes wide open.

Luckily, we have been staying busy cutting spring wheat. It’s making around 30 to 40 bushels an acre. It’s been all bin work so far. There is a drought going on in the Dakotas and the conditions have continued to be hot and dry. There isn’t any mud to watch out for, just rocks. There are a lot of rocks in the fields especially on the hill tops.

The first three quarters we cut we had to leave some small patches of green wheat behind. We will give it some time to ripen and then go back in a few days and get those small patches cut. We’ve got plenty of spring wheat to cut here and we’ll probably cut some canola too.

Our forecast is clear with highs in the upper 80s and 90s. We should be able to keep on cutting until the cutting jobs are finished here. After this we will make one more move north on our harvest run to cut more wheat and canola.

Janel Schemper can be reached at

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by Case IH, Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc., BASF, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, Gleaner, ITC, Westbred, Huskie, Western Equipment, US Custom Harvesters, and High Plains Journal.   

Finished a field and moving to another one late in the evening.

Unloading wheat on the truck. 

Such a beautiful evening in North Dakota. 

See what I mean about praying with my eyes wide open? Cutting along the river and hoping the dirt wall doesn’t cave in.

Bin work.

Unloading wheat on the truck.

Cutting wheat in southwest North Dakota. It sure is beautiful out here. 

  • Tom Stegmeier
    Posted at 18:40h, 09 August

    Great read Janel !! Yes any AG, related business will give stress and then some ,when you are working with Mother Nature she can be so kind then be a real bitch . The most modern Hi Tech operations can be stopped if the weather is not favourable. Stress sometimes can make one think about how to improve a situation . You run a top notch outfit ,believe in your self and the Lord will believe in you !! Keep the headers in the wheat Give Miss Moo some Love from us , Make some Janel time ,Work Safe !!

    • Janel Schemper
      Posted at 21:16h, 09 August

      Thank you Tom! Always great to hear from you! Harvest has been going pretty good just stressful at times.

  • Tim s
    Posted at 19:52h, 17 August

    How’s your other crew doing in Montana any yield reports

    • Janel Schemper
      Posted at 12:28h, 22 August

      Tim hello! They did good and finished and all 3 crews that were out there are now here in North Dakota. They harvest several crops out there. Sounds like the wheat did good. Thanks! Janel

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