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Sherry: Some things haven’t changed

Wesson in a rut.

Wesson with his tractor and bale spear, with a few wrapped cotton bales in the background.

One of the alligators we saw.

Wailynn and Wyatt trying to roll a little bale.

Loaded bales and ready to haul to the cotton gin.

Hi y’all! No matter where we are the weather hasn’t changed.

When we arrived in southeast Texas it was somewhat dry, so we were able to get to picking quickly. Well, that did not last long. Mother Nature was not on our side. It rained on ground that was already saturated. We sat and waited for the cotton to dry for what seemed like two weeks. Finally, it quit showering and the ground became dry enough that we were able to begin picking again. We harvested about 700 acres and then more rain came. Luckily, it did not rain too much. We were able to get back in the fields in a couple of days and finish that stop.

This was an interesting stop. We were next to a skydiving school, so several times a week we would see people jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. Also, all the rain brought out the alligators! The kids and I have never seen an alligator that wasn’t in a zoo. Well, we saw several at this stop, they were swimming in the creeks and on the sides of the roads.

The farmer told me he had a pet alligator! Um, no thank you! We will stick to cats, dogs, and chickens. We wrapped up this stop as soon as we were able to and head to our next stop. The yields have been average for the area on a dry year.

Next stop, central Texas! We have been in central Texas going on a month now. The ground was soaked when we arrived. We waited almost 3 weeks before we were able to get into the field to pick cotton.

During this time, we hauled bales to the gin. We also had a few family trips, we went to a Blue Angel Air Show, NASA Space Center, the Bluebell Creamery, and Santa’s Wonderland. We also, spent some time in a ski store because the kids needed new ski clothes. Finally, the cotton was dry but the ground was still soft but we got in it and started picking.

We have three machines running so we were able to pick about 900 acres before the next rain storm hit us. The fields were like flowing rivers, some places got up to 6 inches. Thankfully, where we are harvesting we did not get that much rain. We received about 2.5 inches. If it continues to rain, we have the potential of losing this cotton crop. If it rains too hard, the cotton can become stringy or knocked out of the boll and onto the ground. If it stays wet, the cotton seed can rot.

Fortunately, the cotton pickers have been running good. We have not had too many issues with the machines. However, this season we did have a cotton picker totaled out. We will be replacing it with a new one and it should be arriving this week.

Overall, when it comes to the cotton pickers this season has been fairly easy. On the other hand, it has been long and drawn out due to weather. We should have been finished picking in November but it looks like we will be picking cotton into January 2023.

We hope y’all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Hope to see y’all next year!

Sherry Zimmerman can be reached at sherry@allaboardharvest.com.

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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