Greenfield, Iowa—"Nature gives to every time and season unique beauty; from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it’s just a succession of changes so soft and comfortable that we hardly notice the progress."—Charles Dickens

 

How I’ve already turned the calendar to May is a mystery. It seems not long ago I was putting away equipment for winter, attending socially distanced holiday gatherings and dreaming of a warm island getaway. Nevertheless, spring has sprung here on the farm, bringing with it the work of a new growing season.  



Long days and nights in

Greenfield, Iowa—Today I'm sipping coffee, looking out my window at the cows grazing in the pasture. I see corn and soybean fields in the distance, their color shifting from green to yellow and brown hues. A few leaves are starting to fall from the trees, and I hear a load of laundry tumbling in the dryer behind me. Fall is approaching, and wheat harvest has come full circle. After 77 days on the road we find ourselves back home.

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After over 2.5 months we are back at the beginning where it all started. It's a different feeling

Onida, South Dakota—The crew has been working for almost a month now Sully County, and fatigue is starting to set in. To be honest, no one is really complaining. South Dakota always is our biggest stop of the year, and a little hard work never killed anyone. When you stay long enough to see the sunflowers bloom you know it's time to wrap things up here.

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Amber waves of grain may be beautiful, but a sunflower field doesn't look too shabby either. South Dakota sunflowers just seem to make you smile.

 

The spring wheat has been excellent

Onida, South Dakota—They say everything is bigger in Texas. Maybe that's true. But when it comes to the sheer scale of harvest, nothing seems to compare to South Dakota. Every aspect of the harvest is supersized here. Bigger than Texas? Well, I'll let you be the judge of that. Lets just say they both are really big and leave it at that.

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The wide open spaces of South Dakota can seem endless some times. Wheat meets sky, the uninterrupted horizon stretching endlessly in every direction.


Even the wait to begin harvest this year was supersized. The crew sat

Onida, South Dakota—It has been a long, two-day affair, but the crew’s move to South Dakota is finally over. Time to relax, right? Wrong. Sully County welcomes us with a fierce storm forming in the west.  A storm watch is in effect, and we have been frequently checking the radar on our phones. It’s time to get the trailer houses set up and eat our evening meal before the rain drops start to fall. The combines unload at a farm site just north of town. After supper, we rush to get the equipment situated before things turn muddy

Minneola, Kansas—With Kansas in the rearview mirror, the crew has enjoyed a change in our routine over the last week. It was a scorcher loading up equipment.  With 110 degrees indicated by a local weather station, the wind seemed to be like a hair dryer blowing in your face. Humidity readings in the single digits are a far cry from the muggy and humid weather we had in Oklahoma. As the crew moves north, we won’t see these desert-like conditions again.  

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Cleaning machines is a hot, filthy job any time. With temperatures above 100 degrees it makes

Minneola, Kansas—Sometimes wheat harvesting can seem like a traffic jam ... just when you think you get to start you find yourself sitting still due to weather, spinning your wheels. This year will not be described as stop and go, but instead more like a race. Since we arrived in Oklahoma, it's been non-stop; and once we reached Kansas, we didn't let our foot off the gas. It's been "pedal to the metal" for over a week now, and there are no signs of it letting up till we see the checkered flag fall as we cross

Minneola, Kansas—The red clay dirt of Oklahoma slowly fades into brown sandy soil as the crew makes its way north into Kansas. Trees and terraces are replaced by flat fields and wind turbines. The scenery has changed, but the job stays the same. We arrive in Minneola, Kansas, and immediately start harvesting. The green wheat we thought would give us a few days off has ripened quickly in the hot dry weather. We unload equipment and get right to work.

UntitledWe arrive in southwest Kansas and get right to work. The farmer's provided grain cart boosts our productivity and

Thomas, Oklahoma—No two years are ever alike, and that couldn't be more the case than with this year's Oklahoma harvest. Last year brought some of the most challenging harvest conditions we have ever seen in Thomas when heavy rains turned fields into swamps. The wheat was laid over flat on the ground, and it seemed like harvest here would never end. This year, however, was something completely different.

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After we arrive, it's clear harvest is ready to begin. We work well after dark unloading equipment and installing the dual tires so we can be ready to harvest

Clothes are piled on the bed and hangers lay all over the floor. The dryer just buzzed that the final load is ready to come out. The dishwasher just finished the last few dirty dishes. The refrigerator is unplugged, and a pile of nearly-empty condiment bottles are piled in the trash. Oh, yeah … I gotta take out the trash yet! Where is my checklist list at? Did I pack the toothpaste?

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David, Cameron, Titus and Ezra finish loading and packing before leaving Minnesota. It's a long drive to Oklahoma, and it always seems road construction makes an