All Aboard Harvest | 2011
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2011 Tag

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While the dry weather has allowed progress in harvest activities in some areas, the hot and dry conditions have severely hurt some the wheat crops.  Below are crop conditions for selected states provided by the USDA.

Texas Dry-land winter wheat harvest near completion in areas of the Plains while irrigated winter wheat harvest is in full swing. Wheat harvest in areas of the Blacklands has seen good progress and is near completion.  The Texas wheat crop has been rated: 54 percent very poor, 23 percent poor, 14 percent fair, nine percent good and zero percent excellent.

The wheat around Andale, Kan., has been averaging 40 bushels/acre. Compared to what we had in Oklahoma this is fantastic wheat. There has been one thing that has caught me off guard though. Apparently in this part of Kansas is worse off than I thought when it comes to drought conditions. I've been talking with some of the local farmers and one in particular, Orin Winter, says that since November they have only had a total of four inches up until these past couple of weeks. I guess a girl coming up from Oklahoma where the drought is severe didn't realize how bad it was in this neck of the woods.

To our luck, Mother Nature has decided to cooperate with us lately. A couple days ago we moved north to the Great Bend and Hoisington, Kan. area where we were able to pick up a little work from an old-time friend and customer, which was greatly appreciated. The wheat was ripe enough to begin cutting, to our relief. Things went well there and we were able to finish up in a timely fashion. The wheat in that area was yielding about 30 to 40 bushels per acre. The only complication we had was an accidental run-in with some old deer antlers. The antlers literately pierced through the steering tire and we had to take it to town to patch it up. Who would have guessed that something as harmless as a buck shedding his antlers in a field could cause us a whole afternoon of grief!

Yesterday we moved near Hays, Kan. and were able to begin harvesting there as well. However, we got sprinkled out in the afternoon but hope to get started up again soon.

Great Bend
All lined up in Great Bend, Kan. before we unloaded

Scott Clark's crew has moved into Kansas and has seen dramatic differences in the wheat crop due to moisture. This week Scott talks about a clients secondary crop and how rain tends to change plans.

The crew moved to eastern Kansas last Tuesday and Wednesday. Most of the east side of Kansas has had a considerable amount of rainfall this season – and it shows. The yields have been averaging from 40 to 65 bushels/acre and the test weights have been as high as 64 pounds. The wheat is waist high in most places, and we aren’t forced to run our headers on the ground to get all the wheat.