All Aboard Harvest | Janel Schemper – Schemper Harvesting
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Janel Schemper – Schemper Harvesting

Janel Schemper – Schemper Harvesting

Janel Schemper was 5 months old when she made her first harvest journey.

“Harvest for me is a way of life,” the third-generation custom cutter said.


Schemper Harvesting, based in Holdrege, Nebraska, goes back more than a half-century, started by her grandfather, Jerry Schemper. Today, the operation includes her parents, LaVern and Carlene, and her brothers, JC and Jared.


They cut wheat every year from Frederick, Oklahoma, to North Dakota.  Their fall harvest is in Nebraska.


She started operating the combine full-time during the summer months at age 13, she said. The job and family tradition has taught her life lessons: An exceptional work ethic, honesty, responsibility, dependability, business professionalism and a dedication to fulfill the harvest season year after year.


Schemper said she joined the All Aboard Wheat Harvest in 2017 and gained a new nickname from High Plains Journal readers.


“It’s Princess Kate,” she said. “I truly appreciate each and every one of the messages and overall support from (All Aboard) followers. I’ve had a few messages that said, ‘Thanks for being a voice for us.’”


During the harvest offseason, Schemper hauls grain locally and hires the crew for Schemper Harvesting.  She is also an insurance agent and writes home, auto, life, health, farm, crop and business insurance policies.

Southwest Oklahoma – I had thoughts of going on harvest and cutting wheat right away when we arrived May 25. We waited around for several days before we got to start cutting. We definitely didn't come here to sit, we came to work but there's nothing I can do about the weather. I've been through it before. I know I just have to wait it out because that's the way harvest is sometimes. So far the yields have been decent. I’ve cut 45- to 65-bushel wheat. The test weights have been 58 to 63 pounds per bushel and the protein

Southwest Oklahoma–We arrived at our first harvest stop on May 25. The wheat was still a little green and the forecast not so hot. We took the time to attend the US Custom Harvesters, Inc. safety meeting in Wichita Falls, Texas. It was a very good meeting and there was quite the crowd that attended. The speakers were really great and hopefully everyone learned a lot. Safety should always be a priority. Did you know that truck drivers are required to wear a seat belt and texting while driving is not allowed at all? I see people texting and driving

Holdrege, Nebraska—I’ve traveled over three thousand miles recently hauling equipment to our first stop on our wheat harvest run. The wheat looks so green and lush almost the whole way down. I enjoy the trips going south for wheat harvest. I hauled a combine and header down the first trip. I hauled a tractor and grain cart down the second trip. The third trip I’ll drive a truck or a pickup with a camper behind. On the trips back home, my dad and I travel together. It's interesting to hear his stories on harvest over the years. For instance, he

Holdrege, Nebraska—Hello from Holdrege, Nebraska. I am Janel Schemper and have been a custom harvester all of my life. I have been running combine full-time since I was thirteen years old. I’ve been chasing my combine career forever. Each year I harvest winter wheat, spring wheat, canola, soybeans and corn along our seven state harvest route. My whole life, I’ve been a part of our harvest crew. It seems like I’m always taking care of business whether it’s harvest time or not. It is a family business and the work is never ending. I’ve always got taking care of customers

Northeastern North Dakota—We recently had a nice change of scenery. We took a drive over to the International Peace Gardens. I didn’t even know it existed and my dad said he’d been there many years ago. So, LaVern, Carlene, Miss Moo and I made the trip over to Dunsieth, North Dakota (near highway 281). We crossed the border and Miss Moo has been next to the border before (because we’ve harvested fields just next to the Canadian border) but this time she made it to Manitoba! She’s been to many states and now another country! Way to go, Miss Moo!


Northeastern North Dakota—We are harvesting spring wheat way up north now at what I call Combine City, USA. I’ve been coming here for about 20 years now and it’s always full of combines at wheat harvest time. Most of the work we do here is bin work.  The wheat we’ve cut so far made over 80 bushels per acre. The wheat and canola look very good here this year. The soybeans look great too. I haven’t seen any corn fields in this area this year. Last year I saw many fields of corn but heard it was all destroyed because

North Dakota—All of our combines have finished cutting recently in north central Montana. Three combines have joined us here in northeastern North Dakota to cut wheat and canola. Three combines are currently headed south for fall harvest where they’ll begin in western Kansas picking wet corn.

Our Montana harvest consisted of harvesting winter wheat, spring wheat, barley and chickpeas. The winter wheat was straight cut as well as picked up in swaths. It made over 70 bushels per acre and the test weights were over 60 pounds per bushel and the protein 10.5%. The spring wheat our crew cut made around

North Dakota—I’m feeling happy because we’ve made it to our last stop on wheat harvest! That’s a great feeling because we’ve made it this far and when we’re finished here we’ll head back south and begin fall harvest at home. We are way up north near the Canadian border in northeastern North Dakota. This is my very favorite place to cut wheat and canola. However, we started on field peas. We have had decent luck. The first day of cutting field peas there was too much humidity so the conditions were tougher. However, the sun has shined and we have

North Central South Dakota—Our spring wheat harvest here in South Dakota is going quickly this year. We’ve had good cutting conditions and heat. Last year we fought lots of humidity and cooler temperatures while we were here so this year it feels so nice to have decent harvesting weather to get the wheat cut without any delays.

South Dakota is a nice place to cut wheat, no doubt about it. Again, it’s even better when we’ve got great cutting conditions. I really just wish there was more wheat to cut here. I’ve been doing some looking around and there’s more corn

North central South Dakota—Hello from the Dakotas! I was out in Montana for a few weeks and kept busy there harvesting winter wheat. We could’ve and would’ve stayed in Montana longer but had spring wheat to cut in South Dakota and had another deal going on with a combine that was still sitting down south. It missed a month and a half of very busy harvest time due to a break down. It was finally time to go pick it up and haul it up north here to cut spring wheat.

The winter wheat in Montana was making over 70 bushels