Laura: So long, Kansas!

Wallace County, Kansas — It was the most beautiful evening the night I began this article. I had moved my “office” outside and was typing as I watched mini-harvesters play with their friends in the neighboring lot.  It was our last night at this stop, and I knew goodbyes would be hard the next day. As luck would have it, for whatever reason, fellow harvest kids are a the exception, not the norm at our camp stops. We made the most of our time and this treat. Lifelong memories were made here while they swam, played hide-and-go-seek in the dark, went fossil hunting and shot off fireworks . 

It’s not just our fellow harvest neighbors who make the world a brighter place, but the local people in the places we cut. I fully realize it can sometimes be disconcerting when the traveling harvest show comes to town. There are many unknowns of who we are and where we’re from. We may even look different or sound different from what is customary for the area, with potentially a touch of dishevelment after being severals days or even weeks overdue for a haircut after so much time in the field. It would be easy for some to keep a distance; however, so many people choose to look past the unknowns with a “love thy neighbor” mentality. Over time we, and returning members of our crew have gotten to know people in the communities we visit. Simple acts of kindness like a warm greeting at church or in the grocery stores, waves as we pass or calling people by name at the parts store are all ways of making a town a home away from home, and it is so appreciated.  

At this stop, one of our farm families made supper for the crew that was cutting on their fields. The cooks assured me it was no big deal as they were cooking for their farm team anyway. Even if it wasn’t a big deal to them, it spoke volumes to the crew. 

In the field there were surprises, too. We saw yields from around 20 to more than 100 bushels per acre. Some of the differences can be attributed to irrigation, rain at just the right times, fallow and other environmental conditions. The highest yields we saw came under the pivots. Some of the irrigated wheat went over 100 bushels per acre. However, there were some drylands that came in around 80 bushels an acre. If the weather cooperates, these soils can raise some incredible wheat crops!  

Filling trucks at the end of the night.
This wasn’t just incredible straw. This field had solid yields too!
Smash tacos may be my new favorite thing to make on the Blackstone.
These western Kansas sunsets are on point.
Heading off into the sunset.
The crew headed to Colorado.
Away they go!

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

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