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Janel: Excellent winter wheat but tough straw

South Dakota—We got here July 20 and the winter wheat had green in it yet so we waited a couple of days to let it ripen. When we did sample it was 12.4%. So we’ve been staying busy cutting excellent winter wheat north of Pierre, South Dakota. It’s yielding in the 80s and is a heavy crop weighing 65 pounds per bushel. The protein is above 14%.
The wheat is standing good but the straw has been green and tough and that takes horsepower and fuel to get through it. We just replaced all of the sickle sections on two headers when we got here. We cut a lot of wheat very close to the ground in Oklahoma and Nebraska and the sickle sections were getting dull and worn out. Now we are in tough green straw and the new sickle sections are working very well. Fungicide applications make the cutting conditions even tougher. Listening and responding is a combine operator’s constant responsibility in tough cutting conditions with higher yields.
The heat and somewhat breezy conditions are bringing on the spring wheat. Hopefully we’ll have spring wheat ready once we finish the winter wheat. The forecast is hot and dry and the drought continues.
We have two combines here and six out in Montana. South Dakota is loaded with corn this year. There’s also quite a lot of soybeans and sunflowers planted as well. There’s fewer acres of wheat every year it seems. I love cutting wheat in South Dakota and am happy to be here and cutting a good wheat crop. I’m just disappointed with how things have changed. South Dakota used to be full of wheat and sunflowers. Now it’s mostly corn and soybeans.

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.

South Dakota has lots of farmyard bin sights.

Another bin sight.

That is what the spring wheat looked like when we arrived July 20. The heat will ripen it. I hauled the combine three miles on gravel around town because of a road construction width restriction on the highway.

We arrived and parked at our usual very nice elevator lot in town.

A field of winter wheat we will cut.

There’s a few green ones in it yet.

The heat will help ripen it and we’ll get it cut when it’s ready.

Cutting winter wheat July 23.

Cutting winter wheat in South Dakota.

This field is winter wheat and the other side of the fence is spring wheat.

Harvesting a field of winter wheat.

A hopper full.

This wheat yielded well.

Unloading the front hopper in the auger at the bin sight.

Pretty views at the bin sight.

Unloading the back hopper.

Such a beautiful evening and sunset. The mosquitoes were terrible though.

Trucks in the field.

Cutting with the best—aka Dad.

Unloading on the go.

Cutting wheat.

Such pretty fields of wheat.

I love cutting wheat in South Dakota.

The straw is tough and green.

A beautiful day but tough straw to chew through.

Cutting wheat.

Pretty views in the field.

Cutting wheat.

Cutting wheat.

Field views are the greatest.

Cutting wheat.

My wheels in the field.

Such a beautiful wheat crop.

My wheels.

I enjoy being in the field and running combine!

Cutting wheat.

Uh oh. It clouded up and we lost our sunshine. Now it’s tougher conditions.

The fuel price is still upsetting.

Full on fuel again.

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