Janel: Excessive heat warning

South Dakota—We just recently finished cutting wheat in western Nebraska and it’s been very hot and dry. Sadly, it was the worst crop I’ve ever cut there. The wheat production was down because of the moisture deficit. It’s been abnormally dry going on three years now. They received very little rain, no snow and had poor growing conditions including drought, wheat stem sawfly damage, wheat streak mosaic disease and a late frost. It results in a large financial hit for producers and harvesters. The wheat I cut yielded around 25 bushels per acre. That’s about half of what it usually is so overall it was a disappointing wheat crop out west this year.
We just spent two days traveling up to South Dakota. There isn’t much wheat cut up here yet. It was great to finally see green grass and good looking wheat once we got to the state line. There was a bad storm in the Philip, South Dakota, area around June 20 and it hailed out many acres of wheat and the hail and wind caused damage to businesses, homes and grain bins in town. The outside temperatures have been very hot the past several days. Today, July 18 it is 111 degrees outside. Dangerously hot conditions and high heat index values are in the forecast with an ongoing excessive heat warning. We are definitely caught back up to the wheat harvest. There is winter wheat around that is a little green yet. The heat and wind will surely ripen it right up.
Nebraska was an early harvest and now the Dakotas are a little later. That’s one reason why there are a lot of harvesters sitting around. The crop isn’t ready yet. Typically, in the Dakotas we cut winter wheat and spring wheat. There is usually a delay here at some point and it’s my least favorite part of the summer. I like to be in the field and in the combine cutting wheat daily. I don’t ever want time off. I am happiest when I’m busy and in the field. I hope we have plenty of acres to cut once it is ready in a few days.
We did take our crew to the Black Hills to see Mount Rushmore. I hadn’t been there in 22 years, so I was happy to get to go again. We also stopped by Keystone and the guys on the crew went on a helicopter ride. We also stopped by Wall, South Dakota, and toured Wall Drug and I hadn’t been there since I was just a young kid and it was just the exact same as I remembered it. I’m not much on being a vacationer (in the summer) and tourist (I don’t like crowds) but I enjoyed the trip.

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 to another field in western Nebraska. The roads are narrow here and seem to get more and more narrow every year.

Cutting wheat. It was dry and we cut close to the ground.

Unloading on the cart late at night.

Cutting wheat in western Nebraska.

Cutting wheat.

Another field done.

Moving to another field. The grass in the ditches is not green because of the severe drought. I hope it rains one of these days.

Sterling’s birthday was July 14 so we took him a present. He loved his new John Deere sweatshirt.

Family photo for Sterling’s seventh birthday.

Happy birthday, Sterling. The next day they moved north to Montana.

Traveling through the badlands of South Dakota.

Horses in the badlands.

A bad storm in June wrecked these bins.

My wheels, all 30 of them.

Hello, vacation day to Mount Rushmore.

Pretty amazing!

I enjoyed the trip to the Black Hills. (Photo by Carlene Schemper.)

The crew got a helicopter ride in Keystone, South Dakota. They saw the signs when we were driving through and said that’s what they wanted to do.

A tourist attraction in Keystone, South Dakota.

Wall Drug was just as I remembered it.

This guy at Wall Drug has been sitting there quite a while. I have a picture with him from when I was a baby, then again at about 10 years old. I’ll have to find those pictures now. (Photo by Carlene Schemper.)

Excessive heat warning is right on. It’s 111 degrees today in South Dakota.


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