Sherry: The day has come

Hi y’all! We are in our third week in, which is really unusual because on a typical year we would be in our third month deep in our cotton harvest.

Since we have arrived at our destination, we have continued to service the equipment. We finally got to the stage of filling them up with water, grease, and diesel. Tomorrow, we pick.

The day has come. We are picking cotton. We sent one cotton picker in the field, then the second, next the third, and finally the fourth one joined them. All four cotton pickers are picking. This is a big deal because these machines are very peculiar. They are finicky. Y’all will understand in the weeks to come, as I will share all of what happens during our harvest journey.

We wiped out 200 acres in about 2 1/2 days, however not without a few difficulties. Wailynn’s cotton picker was the first to have an issue. Thebaler wrapped the bale, but then the wrap got pinched by the rock shaft, therefore the wrap busted. Yep, you guessed it. Cotton everywhere. When this happens, we use our JCB tele handler with the bucket, we then scoop it up and put it back in the machine to make another bale.

Another minor issue we encountered on a different cotton picker was the baler wasn’t wrapping the bale correctly. It should wrap a little more than 4 times. However, the wrap bunched up and did not wrap precisely. We taped the wrap to help strengthen it. While we tried to load it, it almost made it without busting. It stretched a little too much and busted right as we were setting it down on the trailer to be hauled to the gin.

Taping the cotton bale.

Loading the taped bale.

Oh, and as if that wasn’t enough for one day, while I was grilling on the turning row the grill caught fire. Oops! I promise I am not an amateur. Despite the grill not cooperating, I was able to save dinner.

We have picked the first 200 acres. Now time to move to the next field. We had to have a sheriff escort because the roads are winding with narrow bridges. We have wiped out another 550 acres with minimal difficulties from these cotton pickers.

The weather has been pleasant, average mid 80s for the high and low humidity. These conditions are good for picking cotton. The cotton we have harvested is averaging 1 ginned bale per acre, usually it averages 2 ginned bales per acre, but this year’s drought took its toll on this farmland, just like it did on ours at home. Overall, we have had a great start to our 2022 cotton harvest season.

Also, this week back in Bishop, Texas, we are harvesting milo. The weather has been interesting as it has been showering in areas where we have milo, so we try sneaking some combining in as soon as the ground and crop dry. The milo is averaging 3,000 pounds per acre, or 53 bushels per acre. In our area of south Texas, we market milo in hundredweight. This is the way it has been calculated in our area for as long as we can remember.

Our first cotton bale of our 2022 cotton harvest. (Courtesy photo.)

On the road to the next field.

This is why we choose to harvest, for evenings like this.

We hope y’all are enjoying hanging out with us. We look forward to next week.

Sherry Zimmerman can be reached at

All Aboard Fall Harvest is brought to you by Unverferth Mfg. Co. Inc., ITC Great Plains, Pivot Bio, U.S. Custom Harvesters, T-L Irrigation, Titan Machinery, and High Plains Journal.


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