Christy: Moving right along

Mostly beautiful weather in Kansas so far. We’ve had a few little showers here and there, some high humidity at times, but mostly it has been really nice.

Kiowa, Kansas — Crews have moved in many directions this last week. As a whole, we finished Texas. It wasn’t too soon, as the rains really opened up right before we left, so much so that we decided to take off a day later than planned due to weather. I’m thankful we harvested all the crops planned before the last rain as it dropped a couple of inches.

Moving day didn’t get off to a great start as the propane tanks weren’t secured on one of our crew campers. They spewed propane, and one exploded off the camper across an interstate just as we left the campground. No one was hurt, but it was something I haven’t seen before. We’ll be checking the security of propane tanks much more closely now before we take off.

Truck Nine pulling into a field.

Patrick took a crew to Kingfisher, Oklahoma. They’ve seen a little bit of soft fields, but yields have been between 40 and 50 bushels per acre. It’s above yields we harvested there last year, and decent rains allowed a good crop.

Gary moved over to Anthony, Kansas, and wheat looks good. There are lots of terraces, but wheat is averaging about 35 to 50 bushels per acre. Some fields are a little thin, and others a bit more abundant, but we’ve needed extra trucks to compensate. Rain has threatened for a few days now, but it’s held off enough to keep moving. I think they will see some rains soon that will put a halt to operations in the next couple of days.

Here by Kiowa, wheat has done really well. It’s been beautiful cutting. Some fields are yielding around 35, and others top out around 55 to 70 bushels per acre. Test weight has been good here too at anywhere between 62 to 64 pounds. Weeds have been nonexistent, and our machines have moved easily through the fields.  

Trucks are loaded almost as soon as they enter the field. They’ve been barely keeping up in some fields where the yields are high.

Arriving at the field this morning, Paul discovered he had a flat tire. The guys worked to get a new tire on and spent a good part of the morning making the repair. We’re still not quite sure what punctured the tire, but at least they were able to get it fixed. We had a small rain shower last night that delayed cutting, so after the repair and lunch, the crew was able to begin combining.

Paul works with some of the guys to change the flat tire on his combine.

Zoey has decided she’s tired of the sidelines, and she has been taking off with Paul most mornings. She’s expecting the opportunity to either be able to run his combine, or at least help move pickups to the next field. It’s hard on this Mom. I’m used to taking care of my one and only baby, but nothing can compare to the pride I feel seeing her embrace her Dad’s passion for harvesting and showing up to help with any job. She helps with cleaning windows, helping grease machines and cleaning garbage out of cabs. She doesn’t mind as long as she’s able to be there.

I jumped in the combine with Paul at lunch, and Zoey drove my pickup around the field to make sure everyone got their lunch. It’s a different sight seeing her drive through the field.
Zoey has been spending a lot of time with Dad learning how to run combine. It’ll be awhile yet before she can run one on her own. Photo by Paul Paplow.

Each year is very different from the last, and I hope I can keep up with all the changes.

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