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Christy: Every year is not like the other

Ocheyedan, Iowa–What a busy winter it has been! Unlike the last couple of years, things have not slowed down since fall harvest ended last year. Usually it is a welcome break at the end of the season. This year, we kept on three wonderful guys from our crew to help haul grain and work on the many projects we needed done for this coming season.

Truck work topped the list with a few needing overhauls. Between my husband, Paul, and his father, Gary, they worked on getting those back in top shape. Paul also put in many hours polishing the wheels on most trucks and trailers.

One truck in the process. She's back together now and running smooth.

One truck in the process. She’s back together now and running smooth.

One of the service trucks getting some much needed TLC.

One of the service trucks getting some much needed TLC.

Many wheels in the polishing process. They sure look good when they're done!

Many wheels in the polishing process. They sure look good when they’re done.

Right now, we have all our new machines picked up from Grand Island, Nebraska, and the guys here have them all set up. Crew seems to be arriving daily, and we’re hoping to have our crew full when we begin combining in Texas.

We were finally able to bring a J1 visa trainee over from England. The program was pretty much closed due to COVID travel restrictions the last couple of years. Tom came aboard a little over a month ago and is settling right in. He is incredibly knowledgeable and has proven to be an excellent addition to our crew. The most alarming thing I have learned from him so far is that he had never had a taco. I’m not sure how anyone survives over there without tacos. We are hoping to have one or two more trainees join us at some time soon.

Our new addition, Penny the pup, has no idea what’s in store for her. She joined us during fall harvest last year when we were working from home, so it’ll be interesting to see how she manages life on the road.

Last weekend, Paul took one group of equipment to Texas. It sounds like we might start combining here pretty quick, so this group will be leaving without us. Zoey hasn’t finished school yet, so I’ll have to stick around here until she’s done. This will be the first year I haven’t made the trip with the convoy, or pulling my own camper down. It’s hard to watch them leave without us, even if we’re only a couple days behind.

Lined up and ready to take off.

Lined up and ready to take off.

More trucks lined up and ready to take off.

More trucks lined up and ready to go.

Looking forward on the wheat run, conditions weren’t ideal in some areas down south. It looks like we have some acres to cover, but we may not see yields as high as previous years or as many acres. I’m looking forward to getting down there so I can see for myself.

Much still needs to be done before I get down south, but I know everything will get done before we take off. I’ll be worrying until that time comes.

I hope you all are as excited as I am to start the season. Next time, I’ll hopefully be catching you up on conditions down south.

Christy Paplow can be reached at christy@allaboardharvest.com.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is brought to you by ITC Holdings, CASE IH, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, US Custom Harvesters Inc., Unverferth Mfg. Co. Inc., Lumivia CPL by Corteva Agriscience, Kramer Seed Farms, and High Plains Journal.

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