21 Jul 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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