All Aboard Harvest | Laura: Landmarks
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Laura: Landmarks

Nebraska—If you have been involved with farming, I think you can smile at this exchange because everyone has a relatable landmark story.

The other day, we were out riding with our farmer inspecting the next fields. One of the conversations went something like this, “You have to split that field at the old windmill. Then there should be a post on the other side—I think it should be still standing. You cut across to it.”

I have no doubt that even if that post is down, he knows exactly where it always stood, and could drive straight there across on the exact line shown on the property map. Farmers know their fields better than the back of their own hands.

I know you get it. It is the same concept if you were to tell someone to turn west at the old (insert your name of choice) place. Mind you, the place was torn down 50 years ago, but everyone knows exactly where it stood, even if they were born decades after the event. Agriculture is full of all kinds of little nuances like this.

But back to what you came for, the wheat. The crop in this part of western Nebraska had to show a little tenacity to make it to harvest. Some say wheat has nine lives, like a cat. The farmer reported that his fields were subjected to the crazy late freeze that occurred on May 22. Approximately five days prior, the farm was severely hailed and some fields were considered a complete loss. The field that was tallied at the time of this posting went just under 40 bushels per acre. Test weight was right around 60 pounds and protein was a little light at just over 10.

Driving through this area, one can tell it needs rain in a bad way. Pastures contain far more patches of winter landscape colors with a few patches of green where some were lucky enough to catch a few rains. Fall crops are trying to hold on but on this 100-plus degree day, their leaves were starting to wrap up. On the way back to the other crew, we passed a fire along interstate that was started from the exhaust of a truck hauling a load of bales. A stiff south wind and an excessively hot day caused it to spread through the pasture. Thankfully, it looked like they were about to have it contained which is super fortunate because it could have gotten out of hand quickly.

In other news, I finally got to meet fellow All Aboard Wheat Harvest blogger Brian Jones. As fate would have it that we were both in Big Springs at the same time, so we got to visit about all things harvest for a few minutes. It was great to finally connect.

Laura Haffner can be reached at

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.

Just two kids waiting for a MacDon parts order.

Their dad is one of the leads for the MacDon harvest crew and they have the snow cone biz down to an art.  

Finally had the opportunity to meet Brian Jones, AAWH blogger.  

Is this an expensive game of chicken or just finishing a field in Nebraska?


Long runs make for pretty views.


Doing good work in western Nebraska.

Lady A trying to get a great shot.

Passing a little time while driving to the field with the dot game.  

I would guess the majority are volunteers. Thank goodness for hardworking folks who got this interstate fire out.

  • Tom Stegmeier
    Posted at 18:31h, 29 July

    Super , Laura , Brian is one great blogger , remember several years ago Ryan had it all mapped out for you for finding the crew with old land marks ,I’am still that way it’s just a farmer thing. Work Smart Work Safe , give Little Man & Lady A . a Big Hug from us !!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 21:39h, 31 July

      Thanks, Tom!

  • Sue Gibbs
    Posted at 18:42h, 04 August

    Your interpretation and stories about the life of “ harvesters” is fascinating and educational! Thanks for sharing your thoughts of a life most of us have never lived but benefit so much from those who DO enjoy this life. Proud of you and your writings.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 13:19h, 08 August

      Thank you, Sue! I so appreciate it.