Thomas, Oklahoma—I think the crew is suffering from weather whiplash. Weather is always in the driver's seat at harvest time, and we are just along for the ride. With eleven inches of rain, the weather had pulled the crew over at a rest area. While we appreciated a few days to take a breather and acclimate to our Oklahoma surroundings, we really needed to get this show on the road. Apparently the weather heard us whining in the back seat. It grabbed the steering wheel, told us to hang on and whipped a weather u-turn. Those cool temps

Thomas, Oklahoma-The equipment is no longer new. Straw, chaff and the dust swirl around the machines as they make their way across the first field for the season. We squint through smudged windshields as we drive into the setting sun. The unmistakable red mud of Oklahoma sticks to the wheels of the machines. Yield monitors are configured, settings have been adjusted, and a semi is headed to town to deliver our first load. This may be the 40th time we have harvested on "the first day," but the mood is always a little tense those first few hours. We

Thomas, Oklahoma–And just like that, the day you thought would never arrive finally arrives. It doesn't matter anymore what didn't get finished, what isn't packed or what was failed to be checked off the to-do list. Most days it seemed impossible to be ready in time. Leaving home is arguably the worst part of the entire summer, packing your life up into cardboard boxes and then moving them into aluminum boxes on wheels. But once we hit the road the anxiety of leaving is replaced with the excitement of arriving.

Getting to this point certainly was

Greenfield, Iowa–What dreary weather. Brisk winds carry a fine mist through the air, remnants of soaking rains earlier in the week. The ground is a soggy mess, and muddy boots and shoes track everywhere we go. Hoodies and heavy coats are required as we plan and pack for our imminent departure for Oklahoma. With morning temperatures in the mid-40s we are feeling very confused. Our gloveless fingers keep going numb from the cold, the furnace is running in the house, and every time we start the pickup the heated seats automatically come on.  Are we really just a few

Greenfield, Iowa - It's hard to believe how fast the calendar pages turn some times. It seems like I was updating you on wheat harvest progress just a few weeks ago, but in reality nearly 12 months have flown by. But this year Jones Harvesting is measuring time in a different decades.  Four decades to be exact.

That's a lot of experience in packing up your things and hitting the road for three months, yet it still seems a little overwhelming no matter how many times you have done it before.  Perhaps the hardest part is just

With another harvest season behind us, it’s difficult to not look back and feel we spent our summer in the Land of Oz. Our adventure started in Oklahoma, a state with dirt as red as ruby slippers. We followed the yellow brick harvest road to Kansas where we were swept up in a tornado of activity. It carried us to South Dakota, the drought there as relentless as the Wicked Witch of the West. Then, as if carried home by flying monkeys, the shortest harvest we’ve ever experienced in 39 years is over.

The stories and photos we share are

Greenfield, Iowa–This morning I woke up in a queen-sized bed, the sun peeking through the blinds. It's 10 a.m. and I groggily drag myself out of bed. Out the window all I see is green ... green lawn, green corn, green soybeans and green alfalfa. It's hazy and humid, the grass still soaking wet from overnight with fog in low-lying areas. I stumble my way to the kitchen and start a pot of coffee, the complete silence only broken by the loud ticking of the wall clock. I take a long, hot shower, losing track of

Onida, South Dakota–Like athletes who have been training for the Olympics, the crew has been training all summer long for a victory lap. We have come around the final bend, and we see the last few acres of this summer's harvest come into view. We've been working tirelessly day after day, racing to cross that harvest finish line. We've guaranteed ourselves a spot on the podium, but will we bring home the gold?

The grain cart follows us around, waiting to see that mound of golden grain appear atop the grain tank.  Long rows stretch on for

Onida, South Dakota–What’s your favorite type of show to watch? Is it a mystery or a romance? Perhaps a comedy or science fiction? How about a reality show, maybe one that stars custom wheat harvesters that rarely get a day off because it never rains?  

I think I’ve seen this episode before, and apparently it’s so popular they are airing it again here in South Dakota. I’m not sure how much I liked it the first or second time, and after watching it again for the third time I’m reminded exactly why. The run time is too long, the

As the combines make their way through the field we chase a lot of wildlife out from the wheat. I can't help but feel a little bad, forcing them from the shelter and shade of their temporary home. The wheat rustles in strange zig zag paths, giving up the location of whatever is hiding beneath the golden canopy. When you reach the end of your pass the mystery of what you've been stalking is finally solved. Usually it's a jack rabbit, suddenly panicked and darting around like it doesn't know where to go or what to