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Christy: The good, the bad, and Case IH Safety Day class

Wichita Falls, Texas–Everyone made it safe and sound to Texas. Only Gary, Rhonada, and one crew member are still back by home trying to complete our planting. We are hoping to see them make the trip down here in the next few days.

I made it to Texas two days after all our crew made it down, right after our daughter finished school for the year. When we arrived, before I could even unload the pickup at the campers, supper was needed at the field. I made it just in time to see the end of our first day cutting.

Unloading onto a truck on the first day of combining wheat by Burkburnett, Texas.

Unloading onto a truck on the first day of combining wheat by Burkburnett, Texas.

It was good to get down safely, and good to be combining. The wheat we cut the first few days was below average around 13 to 27 bushels per acre. A normal crop for this area is usually around 30 to 35 bushels per acre. The moisture was dry, running as low as 10% in some fields.

One of this season's first fields. Photo by Paul Paplow.

One of our first fields this season. (Photo by Paul Paplow.)

Combining wheat in Burkburnett, Texas. Photo by Paul Paplow.

Combining wheat in Burkburnett, Texas. (Photo by Paul Paplow.)

The drought conditions that ravaged this area found some relief over the last two days. We’ve received around one and a half inches of rain by Burkburnett, Texas, and closer to two inches of rain across the border into Oklahoma. The weather past my first day here has been unusually cold. I don’t think the temperature gauge in my pickup has gone past 75. We’re all in sweatshirts and jeans. I haven’t even filled my cooler with ice to cool waters down. Instead of sunscreen, I’m worrying that I didn’t bring Zoey enough warm clothes. That will be coming to an end here shortly as we’ll be back up in the 90s here soon.

When Paul arrived down in Texas, we learned that two of our new MacDon FD245 heads were released and ready to be set up in the field. MacDon’s crew did an excellent job getting them up and running quickly.

MacDon getting our new heads set up. Photo by Paul Paplow.

MacDon getting our new heads set up. (Photo by Paul Paplow.)

A close up on setup with new headers from MacDon.

A close up on setup with new headers from MacDon.

The first few days cutting brought the usual learning curve with our crew learning the ropes and figuring out how everything operates. Unfortunately for one of our truck drivers as he was maneuvering a tight corner his back wheels slid into the ditch. It wasn’t a pretty sight. It took quite a while to get the trailer out, and some grain was spilled. It’s a different terrain down here than some are used to, and as careful as I know he was trying to be, these things happen. It’s the bad that comes with the good.

A truck sliding into a steep ditch.

A truck sliding into a steep ditch.

Some grain spilled. We cleaned it up with a grain vac the following day.

Some grain spilled. We cleaned it up with a grain vac the following day.

The wet weather was just in time for our crew to make it to Case IH’s Safety Day meeting in Wichita Falls, Texas. It was a great experience, and so much valuable information was covered. All the crews that joined the meeting split into three groups to hear different presentations. Local Texas State Troopers covered truck inspections, things to look out for, and valuable advice to truckers. Another Case IH representative covered armrest controls and monitor functions in the combine, and another went over safety precautions surrounding the combine itself. We were pretty proud to lend some of our own equipment for the demonstrations.

Valuable information from local Texas State Troopers was shared.

Valuable information from local Texas State Troopers was shared.

A Case IH representative covering safety precautions on a combine.

A Case IH representative covering safety precautions on a combine.

Class on arm rest controls and monitor functions.

Class on arm rest controls and monitor functions.

At the end of the first week it’s been a lot of ups and downs, but we’re ending on a good note today. Looking forward, we’ll continue working on our job here until the next one is ready.

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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