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Safety Day Excitement

Wichita Falls, Texas — Zoey and I made it to Texas a couple of days too late for U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc.’s Safety Day in Wichita Falls, Texas, but from what I hear it was a good turnout. There were not quite as many crews as last year, but this year is starting out a little different. With crops forecast to be early, USCHI planned Safety Day a little earlier, anticipating that crews would be arriving earlier. As it turned out, late rains delayed some areas, and some crews hadn’t taken off yet at the time of the event. There was also an annual truck check postponing some crews’ trip south.

Photo taken by Mandi Sieren, USCHI

USCHI invited a few new speakers this year. Everyone seemed particularly impressed with the first aid presentation, where one of our crew volunteered for a tourniquet demonstration. It’s always really excellent information that I’m so glad our crew gets before we start.

Case IH also unveiled its 8260 combine, new to its Axil series. Paul has one of the early releases he will run this year. The new platform for the machine is updated technology, while still keeping the machine simple. It’ll be interesting to see how it performs in comparison to our 8250s.

Photo taken by Mandi Sieren, USCHI

The day Zoey and I made it to the campers, our combines started combining. I was glad we made it down in time to bring supper out on our first day of cutting. Since then, we have been steadily cutting for about five days before a rain day put us on pause. We are back working today, and I think we’ll be getting close to wrapping Texas up in the next week or so.

Photo taken by Mandi Sieren, USCHI

Crops look good here in Texas. Most fields are falling in the 30 to 60 bushel-per-acre range. The quality is great, between 63 to 64 pound test weights. Fields in Texas are a little sticky as I think Texas saw more rainfall inches than Oklahoma did. Everything that we’ve cut so far across the border in Oklahoma has been fairly dry. Moisture was borderline to begin with, between 13 and 15 percent. We had to move over a couple of fields to come back to once they dried down, but now we’re finding some fields as dry as 11.9 percent moisture.

Our crew seems to be figuring out their rolls well. There’s always a learning curve to overcome, but I believe most are doing well and will continue to find confidence as we cover more acres.

Photo taken by Christy Paplow

Looking forward, we will have acres ready by Roosevelt, Oklahoma, here in the next couple of days, and some of us will be moving by Kiowa, Kansas, by next week. It is an early start this year for us, and Paul mentioned that at some point we might see a lull in our schedule due to how early these first few stops have been. I don’t think I’ll mind, as I feel like we hit the ground running since the moment we arrived.

Thank you to our 2024 All Aboard Wheat Harvest sponsors: Lumivia by Corteva Agriscience, High Plains Journal, Merit Auctions, Kramer Seed Farms, Shelbourne Reynolds, and U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc

Photo taken by Christy Paplow
Photo taken by Christy Paplow
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