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Laura: Rain, cut, repeat

Archer County, Texas—On June 6, we hopped in the car and met one of the crews at the field and watched a few rounds with the stripper headers before we got in with Ryan to shuffle headers. Since the other field was close to the drop-off point, we decided to take a quick spin around to see where we were at on moisture. Storms were in the area and humidity was high so we knew it was a long shot. We were close, but no cigar as 15.5% moisture wasn’t going to make the cut at the local elevator. However, it gave us an idea of where we are were so all was not lost. That field was ready to go by the next day.  

Team stripper—header reference—was able to roll.
We hated to wish away the storms after we’ve been in such a drought, but team draper—another header reference—really needed to cut some wheat.

On Wednesday, we thought we might get backed up at the elevator so I headed to the field to help late in the afternoon. It turned out we could keep up with the current crew, so we ended up having a rare family date in the combine. “Cozy” would be a nice way to describe our time in the cab. The kids have grown a lot and we fill up that space more than we once did. They feel a bit more heavy on the lap too.  

Lady A and Little Man jockeyed for position on who got to “drive.” We had to make a system that one would drive on the west pass, deploy a quick switcharoo, and then the other would drive back down the east pass.  

This pass it was Lady A’s turn to drive. I can tell you that Little Man isn’t so little any more and it’s a workout to hold him. Probably should upgrade his name,
Will these few sprinkles on the windshield be enough to drive us out?

That night, we saw a mother feral hog and her litter. According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, it is possible for a female to have 3 litters in 14 months, but the average for Texas adults is 1.57 and sub-adults average 0.85. They are a real nuisance in the south, and coupled with their quick reproductions rates, things can escalate quickly and lead to real damage to property.

Not too late into the evening, we were driven out of the field due to light showers that moved in. The straw just got too tough and it wouldn’t be long before the grain moisture would creep up too. We pushed it as long as possible, but it was still disappointing to be driven out especially with daylight still left and the sun peeking through. Even with some of the mornings having delayed starts and earlier than desired evening stops, the crew is making excellent progress when they can cut.

Yields that night were around 35 to 40 bushels per acre with test weights coming in around 62.  

I didn’t get everyone together, but I did manage to catch part of the crew who’s been working on this field.

Laura Haffner can be reached at laura@allaboardharvest.com.

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