The first day of harvest is always extra stressful, filled with excitement an anxiety. Everything seems a little awkward, and it takes a while for everyone to feel confident behind the wheel of their respective machines.


Thomas, Oklahoma—They say time flies, and if I didn't know any better I'd say I've been working at an airport the last few days. The final hours at home are best described as organized chaos. With such a flurry of activity we're almost in need of a traffic control tower to keep track of every one—and every thing—that is coming and going. Our flight across the harvest heartland is about to take off, and it's the final boarding call for our trip to Oklahoma.





We are leaving a little later than expected due to

This time of the year always is filled with lists. Lists of things to start, things to pack, things to finish … the lists are long. This is the final week to check things off our lists before we leave for Oklahoma.

Remember when you were back in middle school? Class seemed to drag on forever, and you struggled to maintain your attention because all you could think about was one thing.....recess. You spent hours sitting in anticipation, counting down the minutes to play time. Recess finally came, but you struggled to enjoy it because you dreaded knowing it was going to end soon.

Greenfield, Iowa—Someone once told me that the best things in life are free, but whoever said that clearly has never prepared a harvest crew to leave for a summer abroad in the Midwest. Don’t get me wrong, it’s super exciting to know in a few weeks I’ll be far from home, sitting high up in my combine cab and looking out across golden wheat fields. 

Onida, South Dakota—Where do mushrooms go to get a drink? To the salad bar of course! Did you find that joke a little dull? Don't worry ... it will grow on you (like a fungus). Maybe I'm not the best comedian, but I promise you I'm still a fungi. Okay, enough with the fungus jokes or there won't be mushroom left in this week's update to tell you about the actual "fungus among us" here in South Dakota.

 

There's been a little hiccup in our spring wheat harvesting, all caused by a fungus you

Agar, South Dakota—When people ask me what I do for a living, sometimes it's hard to explain. It's almost like having a bunch of part-time jobs all at once. Some days I play a mechanic, fixing broken widgets with duct tape and tarp straps. Occasionally I'm an accountant calculating profit margins and running the numbers. And every so often I'm a logistics manager making sure everyone gets to the right place at the right time. But this week I find myself working in a more unusual role, one that not every harvester has much experience

Onida, South Dakota—Everyone can use some good advice from time to time. After 40 years of harvesting, we probably qualify to offer some helpful harvesting pointers. But there is always something more to learn in life, and I recently stumbled across an old saying that seemed worth sharing with you. Benjamin Franklin is well known for saying, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." The crew maybe has not been following the "early to bed" part, but the rest of this age-old proverb rings true this week.

 

The crew's health