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Laura: Breaking records

Wallace County—The other day, a friend from home, whose family lives in Wallace County, asked if I would be there for the fair. I laughed and said, “If we’re still there for the fair, something went terribly wrong …”

I bet you can guess where I’m going with this, but I’ll leave you in suspense until later.  

Yes, it has been a record setting year, alright, in terms of a strange and unpredictable harvest run. We left northwest Kansas on July 29 and that has never happened before. Not even close. For reference, we are normally well underway or sometimes even nearing completion by around the 4th of July.  

And even though the weather conditions have continued their strange ways, this stop was far from terrible. Last fall and through the spring, things were looking to be to be questionable at best due to the continued drought. However, the rains that came too late for other parts of Kansas came at just the right time for some of the wheat in this area. Not only did wheat that had been planted to irrigation or fallow ground perform strongly, but wheat planted behind the 2022 corn crop survived and even thrived in some spots.

In terms of yield highlights, we saw an irrigated field go over 100 bushels per acre. There were lots of 50-plus bushel per acre on drylands acres. Wheat after failed corn even made 50 bushels per acre in one case.

Being present for the fair was a fun blessing too. This area has always been so kind and welcoming to our family and crew so it was special to add this to our list of favorite local events. The children had fun watching their friends show their 4-H animals and playing at the pool. And perhaps the apex of their stop here was an unforgettable time running amuck with friends at the hometown carnival.   

The amazing thing about this fair is that it’s owned and operated locally. Community members come together to volunteer to run the rides and operate the games. It is a prime example of what is right with small town American. They truly understand the importance of community and teamwork to make the dream work. And it must work too judging by the amount of people who came home, some from states away, to enjoy this slice of hometown heaven. Maybe we could all learn a little from their example.  

It’s baby toad season in the fields.
A view from the cab I captured as I took the machine a couple rounds.
Sometimes you have to make your own fun.
Another causality of harvest. It was my second flat tire of the day.
Dirt road traffic jam. Combines took priority over myself and the road grader on this day.
Rene working to secure a load.
Former team member Chris took a few days off his current job to come back and work harvest.
They had a need for speed as seen on the blurred lines of this roller coaster car.
They had the best time riding with their friends.
The two little faces on the right are Little Man and his buddy. The line was always very long for “The Bullet.”
Until next time, northwest Kansas.

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

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is brought to you by Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc.High Plains Journal, New HollandITC Holdings CorpU.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc., Kramer Seed Farms and Lumivia Insecticide Treatment by Corteva Agriscience.

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