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Stripping durum by Fortuna, North Dakota.

Christy: Lots of miles ahead

Fortuna, North Dakota—Zoey and I made our way to North Dakota for the Labor Day weekend, and caught up with all our crew. By Fortuna, we have two crews that have been working between lentils, flax, and durum. The lentils and flax have been producing about 15 bushels per acre. They are a little below expectations. Mostly due to dry conditions after planting, and planting was a little tough this year with wet conditions keeping farmers out of the field.

Zoey couldn’t hang late on our way up to North Dakota. She never used to be a car sleeper, but we put in a few more miles lately than she’s used to.

Durum is producing around the average 40 bushels per acre. We are cutting some durum with stripper headers, different from the drapers we are using everywhere else. The stripper headers just take the heads off the stem and leave stems for other uses.

Stripping durum by the boarder between North Dakota and Montana.
It’s a little dusty as it’s really dry here in North Dakota. We rode with Paul for a bit this evening before we make our way home tomorrow.

We’re blessed to have durum to cut, and conditions have been pretty ideal for cutting. We have seen a lot of smoke from Canadian wild fires, though. Early in the morning, looking out the window of the camper, you see a haze that appears to be fog. Yet there is not any moisture on the pickups or windows to tell you what exactly it is. The smoke has been clearing up a little in the afternoon, but you can smell the smoke at times because it’s sometimes pretty thick.

Patrick’s crew is also out by Fortuna is cutting durum. They are cutting 20 to 30 bushels per acre. Sawflies are still contending with weeds, and we are seeing a lot of what we did in Kansas, though not quite as severe. Weather is such a big part of what we need to see crops flourish. I hope it can work a little better next year.

Cutting durum with draper headers. The weeds weren’t terrible, but definitely present.

Just about an hour away in Ray, North Dakota, Gary is running four combines in durum with draper heads. They are seeing durum averaging around 30 to 40 bushels per acre. It’s a decent crop, and working well. Zoey hopped in with her Papa today and was happy to catch up since she hasn’t seen him in a while.

Before leaving out for North Dakota while we were home in Iowa, Paul gave Zoey the task of picking certain ears of corn in our corn field to see what the average could potentially be. She chose the 7th, 14th, and 21st ear after the end rows and sat and counted the length and width. After Paul did the math, it looks good. I think we might have a good crop to harvest. It’s supposed to be pretty hot around home, so I think things will be ready sooner rather than later.

Zoey’s pulling a few ears to count kernels.
Counting kernels to see what we’ve got.

Zoey and I are loading up now to head back home. I think we’ll be needing a combine by home pretty quick to work on soybeans. It’s super early, but I’m hoping it works well so we can manage our time to get all the beans in our future cut at the right time. It looks like there will not be a break between wheat and fall.

Hope harvest is going great for all those around! It’s been awesome giving you all updates. A huge thank you to all our sponsors for giving us this opportunity, and we’re hoping to see the end soon!

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