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.

North central Montana—Ever heard the phrase been there done that? I've been told for many years by my parents that they'd never go back to Montana to cut wheat. So never in my life did I think I'd be harvesting in Montana. I’m here and it’s been quite the change from the Dakotas, which are my favorite on my harvest run. Almost my whole life we’ve always rushed to South Dakota to cut winter wheat just as soon as we finished up in western Nebraska. This year we had no winter wheat to cut in South Dakota and the spring

Western Nebraska—We’ve been hot and dry for weeks now. I’d say I’ve been cutting wheat every single day for nearly four weeks straight. I’ve seen a couple of pop-up thunderstorms out here in western Nebraska but neither time did we receive any rain in the field. One storm looked horrific coming towards us. I was cutting wheat and very high winds hit and there was dirt in the air and the wheat was dancing in the wind. We just kept cutting and the wind storm lasted for about thirty minutes. Luckily, all we got was wind and the rain went

Western Kansas—The days have been hot and we’ve been busy harvesting wheat out here in good ole western Kansas! I enjoy it out here. Typically, it’s hot and dry but we’ve had a couple of pop-up thunderstorms. The wheat has been yielding anywhere from 30 to 70 bushels per acre but the test weights have remained under 60 pounds per bushel. Certain varieties didn’t yield well this year that yielded really well last year. Too much wind shelled out one variety which was disappointing.

One reason I love harvesting here is because when I arrive I put on my blue header

Western Kansas—The month of June is over and we’re on to July already and I've got my blue header on again. I have dreamed of having 100-bushel wheat to harvest again this year but when I got out west on June 29 I quickly noticed the wheat yields falling way short of last year. The wheat is averaging 30 to 70 bushels per acre and the test weights under 60 pounds per bushel. A freeze in April damaged the wheat crop and no rain has caused the lower results.

I do love it out west and enjoy being here. The land

Dodge City, Kansas—For the first few days of cutting in southern Kansas we were fighting green. The moisture on the loads went 13.3% to 15%.  The fields I’m cutting have big, full wheat heads.  It’s all making over 60 bushels per acre.  The test weights have been 61 to 64 pounds per bushel. We’ve had to cut around some green wheat in the fields and then will have to go back later and get it cut when it’s ready. The wind has been blowing strong for several days. That has helped ripen the wheat right along. Now all at once

Dodge City, Kansas–Schemper Harvesting’s four crews have finished up in Oklahoma and are in southern Kansas now. Jared cut wheat southwest of Wichita that yielded 25 to 50 bushels per acre and the test weights were 63 to 65 pounds per bushel. JC just got moved to the Pratt area and says the wheat is green yet and some looks several days off. We finished in Oklahoma late last week and moved 215 miles north and the wheat was green when we got here. We worked 18 days straight in Oklahoma and had no rain delays. Wheat ripens 20 to

Weatherford, Oklahoma–We’ve been harvesting wheat averaging 40 and 50 bushels per acre. The test weight has been really good at 64 and 65 pounds per bushel. Then all at once to our surprise the test weight was 66.1 to 66.4 pounds per bushel and it stayed that way. That is a record. It’s just unheard of and is an outstanding test weight!

We have been cutting right along. The days have been hot with highs in the 90s and 100s. Clear skies and sunshine work wonders for us harvesters.  Our 10-day forecast is hot and dry too!  It’s only June 8

Weatherford, Oklahoma–We were lucky enough to have a ten day stretch to start out the wheat harvest before we got our first rain shower. It rained 80 hundredths last night here in the Weatherford, Oklahoma, area.  It feels great to work every day for ten days like we just did and then when we do get a slower day it feels so much more well deserved.  I’m sure we’ll be back in the field later today though.  I hope so anyways!

We finished up at Frederick and that was a miracle to get all of our wheat cut there without having

Frederick, Oklahoma – Hello again All Aboard Wheat Harvest followers! Harvest is finally here and, as always, it’s great to be back in the wheat fields of the Great Plains of America!  However, I’m disappointed in the yields so far.  This area of southwest Oklahoma was beat bad by freeze in April.  The wheat was looking outstanding, too, and then Mother Nature was so mean.  We lost several thousands of acres and several days of work due to the freeze.  The wheat is yielding anywhere from 10 to 45 bushels per acre.  It makes me wonder what it would’ve been

North Dakota–The entire month of August has felt like fall up here in the Dakotas. For harvesters, this takes a lot of patience as it causes us opportunity lost for income and puts us behind schedule. We need heat, wind and sunshine to cut lots of wheat and we’ve hardly had any, plus we've sat through several rain storms. We finished up in South Dakota and did cut nice wheat there that yielded 55 to 65 bushels per acre. The test weights were less than 60 pounds per bushel but the protein was 14 to 16 percent.

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