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Janel: Cutting close to the ground

Western Nebraska—We traveled north to the Sidney, Nebraska area on July 4. I again had an uneventful holiday. I’ve spent almost every 4th of July of my life in the wheat field running combine. However, when we got here we did go straight to the field. We cut one load and then we had a couple of mild rain showers. When we arrived, the wheat was just borderline ready. There is still lots of green wheat around. The forecast is now hot and dry.

We’ve been busy cutting wheat but haven’t had the best harvesting conditions. There are soft spots and mud holes in the fields. If we didn’t have four-wheel drive, we wouldn’t be able to completely cut the fields. We’ve also been dealing with sawfly. That’s when the wheat stalk is broken and the wheat lays flat. Therefore, we’ve been cutting the wheat very close to the ground and not leaving much stubble. The wheat in this area also had freeze damage and the yields are lower, averaging around 20 to 30 bushels per acre.

The past few days have been very hot and breezy with highs reaching 105 degrees. The heat and wind has helped ripen the wheat crop along. We’ve been staying busy cutting wheat but the harvest in this area is usually too short. I’d love to find more wheat here to cut and stay a little longer. When we finish here we’ll be going to the Dakotas and part of our crew will go to north central Montana. I love it up north. It is my favorite part of wheat harvest.

Janel can be reached at janel@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.

Moving north on July 4. I dislike hauling combines up the narrow highway from Tribune to Goodland. I wish it were wider.

Moving north on a very hot day.

It was 104 degrees but we had a nice tailwind.

Traveling north to western Nebraska.

Colorful Colorado has that name for a reason. It is pretty.

We made it to the destination. Feels good to be back in Nebraska.

Time to unload equipment and go to the wheat field.

Pretty clouds.

We cut a little and the sky turned blue to the west. We got showered out. However, the wheat was borderline ready.

Too many rain drops. Time to shut down.

Cutting wheat on a hot day.

Showing 104 degrees outside on the combine display.

Cutting wheat.

So much dirt.

Cutting wheat low to the ground.

The fuel price is still outrageous.

The fuel price is still outrageous.

Antelope in a field.

Cutting wheat then the sky to the west turns very blue. Uh oh. Rain on the way possibly.

Cutting wheat and a storm appears.

Sprinkles messing up my windows again.

We got the field done before it showered us out. The wind was bad and the dirt filled the air right when we were shutting down.

Sunset on July 10. Photo by Carlene Schemper.

Sunset on July 10. (Photo by Carlene Schemper.)

Pretty sunset. (Photo by Carlene Schemper.)





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