Christy: Not the best combination

Kiowa, Kansas—More rain is making a challenging combination of humidity, weeds, and mud. It feels like as soon as you step outside, you are baking in an oven. The air is thick with moisture, which encourages weeds and keeps the wheat from drying enough to cut. We haven’t cut many acres this week due to these conditions. We also have been pulling machines out of the mud right and left. After all three machines succumbed to the mud a few nights ago, Paul decided to throw in the towel and wait for the sun to get everything out safely.

Deep ruts were made in this field. It wasn’t easy getting unstuck.
Combining about 20 bushel wheat north of Kiowa.

Hopefully between today and tomorrow, with no rain in sight, we can finish up here and move up the road to Pratt. I know we have one farmer there who won’t have acres for us this year. I think that means conditions haven’t been great. I hope what we do cut turns out okay. It’s time for Kansas to get more rain, and see the crops they’re used to having.

Our crew by Anthony, Kansas, which is about 30 miles to the northeast, is seeing the same conditions. Mud and humidity have slowed their progress as well. Machines have gotten stuck and we’ll be happy to complete jobs there to move on by Tribune, Kansas. There will also be far less terraces to cut out in the fields there. The wheat has still been around the same average of 20- to 35-bushels per acre.

Patrick took a crew back into Oklahoma to Kingfisher to do a few acres. Conditions are a little different there. They have not seen hardly any of the rain that’s been plaguing the areas everyone else is in. Wheat there is averaging about 10- to 18-bushels per acre with weeds that have been sprayed and are dying, but still going through the machines really hard. He should finish up soon and head back to help Gary’s crew in Anthony.

This year is our first year cutting by Kiowa and I have met so many wonderful people here. It’s a wonderful little town that has made us feel really welcome to stay. It’s also great to see some of the other harvesters that stay here and introduce Zoey to some new friends. I’ll be excited to return here next year, if our farmer will have us back.

At the library in Kiowa, Zoey joined local and harvest kids for an education on alligators and crocodiles and a craft at the end.

With all the rain that keeps sneaking in the forecast, we’ve needed to be a little creative to keep everyone busy to pass the time. The usual maintenance has been caught up with trucks washed and cleaned out. A little leak in the crew camper’s roof was sealed, and then turned into Zoey grabbing water balloons for a battle in the heat. It’s great to have crew who will indulge in Zoey’s fun. They are all so good to her.

Penny enjoyed chasing everyone around while they were throwing water balloons. I kept my distance.

It’s been a struggle here lately with conditions getting in the way of getting things done, but soon I think we’ll move on and hopefully get into a more consistent schedule. We’re ready to be rolling through acres.

Christy Paplow can be reached at

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