Janel: Harvest pains

Southern Kansas — It’s not always another day in paradise or living the dream out here on harvest. There are a whole lot of harvest pains that come with this career and lifestyle. Road construction is one nerve-racking problem, especially when the cones are placed too narrowly in my lane when I am hauling a combine. There is a one-lane bridge in Medicine Lodge, and I knocked over every cone. Some things just can’t be helped.

Breakdowns stress me out. I had the John Deere Harvest Support in my field three days in a row. Thank goodness they are here to help and keep us going! We appreciate them so much! I had two hydraulic oil leaks due to smashed O-rings, and late one evening my rotor belt broke. I’ve never had that happen before.

Rainstorms and mud are more nuisances. All of it wears me out. I feel like I haven’t dealt with mud or even used my four-wheel drive in several years. This area of Kansas received 8 to 10 inches of rain in late May and early June. The dirt is soft, and I’m using four-wheel drive to cut the fields. It helps greatly, but sometimes it isn’t enough. One field was too muddy, so we had to move to another one, and it was drier. However, the wind has been blowing up to 40 and 50 mph gusts, and that helps dry out the ground. This is about the only time I appreciate the high winds. We’ve had pop-up thunderstorms the past three days.

We’ve got four combines in southern Kansas and five combines moving from northern Oklahoma to western Kansas today. This is June 16, and it is Father’s Day. I have the greatest dad ever so “Happy Father’s Day!” We spent the day cutting wheat. The wheat here is averaging 30-45 bushels per acre. The test weights have been 59-60 pounds per bushel.

Janel Schemper can be reached at janel@allaboardharvest.com.

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

Last day in northern Oklahoma. Time to move north again!

We are fortunate to have the John Deere Harvest Support fix the breakdowns during wheat harvest.

My rotor belt broke.

It’s wet here in southern Kansas.

Very muddy wheels in southern Kansas.

I love this time of the day!

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