South Dakota—We just recently finished cutting wheat in western Nebraska and it’s been very hot and dry. Sadly, it was the worst crop I’ve ever cut there. The wheat production was down because of the moisture deficit. It’s been abnormally dry going on three years now. They received very little rain, no snow and had poor growing conditions including drought, wheat stem sawfly damage, wheat streak mosaic disease and a late frost. It results in a large financial hit for producers and harvesters. The wheat I cut yielded around 25 bushels per acre. That’s about half of what it usually

Western Nebraska—We traveled north to the Sidney, Nebraska area on July 4. I again had an uneventful holiday. I've spent almost every 4th of July of my life in the wheat field running combine. However, when we got here we did go straight to the field. We cut one load and then we had a couple of mild rain showers. When we arrived, the wheat was just borderline ready. There is still lots of green wheat around. The forecast is now hot and dry.

We've been busy cutting wheat but haven't had the best harvesting conditions. There are soft spots and

Western Kansas—To my surprise, we had a big time wheat crop to harvest out here in western Kansas. The farm had 22 inches of snow in late January and a few timely rains this spring. The wheat I harvested averaged around 70 to 75 bushels per acre. The test weights were 59 to 63 pounds per bushel. I am feeling very fortunate to have had such a beautiful wheat crop to harvest.

We just finished up today, July 3, and loaded up some equipment and sent some up to Nebraska. However, we've got to settle up with the farmer and load

Western Kansas—We've had many days recently where the wind has been 25 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 and 50 miles per hour. We call them "hang on to your hat" kind of days. We loaded up in the afternoon heat and moved from southern to western Kansas the weekend of June 18 and 19. The heat and wind was terrible. It was almost too dangerous to be out traveling in it.

It's now June 26 and we've had a very busy week harvesting with our Shelbourne Reynolds stripper headers. The wheat east of town yielded around

Western Kansas—We've been staying very busy cutting wheat because it's been hot (100-plus degrees) and windy most days lately. We spent the past week in southern Kansas cutting wheat. The wheat yielded around 50 bushels per acre and the test weights were 62.5 to 64.9 pounds per bushel. With the hot and dry conditions we were fortunate to get the wheat cut without any rain delays and harvest is moving along quickly.
Now today, June 19, we moved out to western Kansas and it's been terribly hot and very windy for two days. The wind has been blowing 20 to 30

Oklahoma-We just finished cutting wheat here June 12 and, overall, I cut quite a bit of short wheat in Oklahoma this year. Short wheat means the header is nearly constantly in the dirt. I don't know how many times I had to get out of the combine and dig dirt out of the header. We've cut wheat recently that made anywhere from 20 to 40 bushels per acre. The test weights have been around 58 and 59 pounds per bushel. There was some dock on sprout damage. The wheat had been rained on several times in the past couple of

Southwest Oklahoma–It’s June 6 and I’m still at first stop on wheat harvest. Here I thought we’d be in and out of here so fast but once again we get here and it rains and the wheat harvest is delayed. We’ve been cutting off and on and playing the waiting game due to the rain. The farmers here are happy with the rain because it’s great for their corn, cotton and peanut crops. All of the custom harvesters want to go south for wheat harvest and have a great start but sometimes it’s just a dream and a wish. However,

Southwest Oklahoma–The start of harvest is very challenging because there is so much that goes into training the crew. There is a lot of noise on harvest crews' two-way radios because literally there is so much training going on constantly. Most of the employees on harvest crews are seasonal workers and experience the harvest maybe one or two seasons only–some less and some more. The amount of questions asked in a day’s time when harvest is starting out is challenging because it takes the skill of patience to deal with training. Eventually with time, hopefully everyone catches on and things

Southwest Oklahoma–I left for harvest on May 18 and arrived in southwest Oklahoma on May 19. We parked the campers and unloaded the equipment in 107-degree heat.  Then we went to the field and sampled right away and the grain wasn't quite dry enough yet. It seems like this time of year always sneaks up on me so quickly. It’s time to cut wheat and harvest begins again. On May 22 we got to cutting wheat and cut late that night and I really enjoy that sometimes. It brings back lots and lots and lots of memories of getting out of

Hey from the 308–but not for long. It’s nearly time to cut wheat. My name is Janel Schemper. I am a third-generation custom harvester from Holdrege, Nebraska. I’ve been a harvester forever and my combine career keeps me very busy. I am a combine operator, truck driver, and I hire our employees. Every May our harvesting crew goes south for wheat harvest. We start in southwest Oklahoma and cut in seven states while working our way north following the wheat harvest. Our crews end up in Montana and North Dakota. We typically finish up wheat harvest in September and then