Steph: Where Does the Time Go?

StephNEW_thumbnailBrandon and I joke that the two and a half days it takes to reach our first harvest destination feel as though it takes the same amount of time as the entire harvest run. It may have started out as a joke, but it has evolved into the real deal. Once we get our headers in the field and our heads back in harvest mode, time has a way of escaping us and next thing we know, we are rolling back into our hometown. We consider ourselves lucky to experience this because it’s a subconscious reminder that we love what we do.

Harvest around home is going to start soon, I promise! I know I keep saying that but Mother Nature always has a plan of her own. The 10 acre patch of barley is all we have completed so far but…alright, I’m not going to jinx it and say when we might harvest, we will just go with SOON. I think I speak for everyone in all of Walsh County when I say the harvest anticipation has hit maximum capacity!

Since graduating college in May, I have been asked one question countless times; “Well, now what are you gonna do?” I know I have given countless answers (backpack across Europe, become a country singer, the usual post-college solutions), but I now have somewhat of a plan! I have accepted a position to assist in the construction of a new seed conditioning plant that is being built in my hometown. This will allow me to stick around throughout harvest and still help dad as much as I can, while still joining the adult world. I also have a trip to Australia planned for the middle of September for two weeks and cannot contain my excitement! It’s bound to be a flurry of a fall.

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to all our readers out there. The readers are what makes this whole project worthwhile. Sparking those harvest memories in others and hearing about them is definitely one of my favorite aspects of it. I have loved the opportunity to be a member of the AAWH crew for the past few years. Who knows, maybe I’ll be back next year too! I don’t rule anything out of my future plans these days. Biggest thanks go out to High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture for making this all possible!

Until next time, happy harvest!

Quote of the Day: “Grind em till you find em.”

You might be a harvester if…once you experience harvest, nothing can keep you away from it.

Here are my favorite photos from the year!

Favorite. St. Francis, Kan.

St. Francis, Kan.

Favorite. St. Francis, Kan.

St. Francis, Kan.

Favorite. St. Francis, Kan.

St. Francis, Kan.

Favorite. Jet, Okla.

Jet, Okla.

Favorite. St. Francis, Kan.

St. Francis, Kan.

Favorite. St. Francis, Kan.

St. Francis, Kan.

Favorite. Hemingford, Neb.

Hemingford, Neb.

Favorite. Hemingford, Neb.

Hemingford, Neb.

Crew photo of 2013.

Crew photo 2013! Osowski Ag Service thanks everyone for the opportunity to share our lifestyle and stories from the harvest trail!

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Steph can be contacted at stephanie@allaboardharvest.com.

Posted in 2014, All Aboard, Crop Updates, High Plains Journal, New Holland, Photos, Sponsors, Stephanie | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Emma: Is it the end already?

EmmaThis year has been one for the books. It was a hard summer considering we had nothing to cut, but it has been a great blessing as well. Since we were stuck at home, we were able to catch up on a lot of things we have put on the back burner. The biggest project was restoring Dad’s antique tractors. Mom has decided, with the help of Dan and I, to have an auction and sell what Dad called his “retirement.” It is going to be hard on all of us to let them go. I kind of hate to see the “ol’ girls” go, as Dad would say.

Emma: End of 2014
Mid-November is the tentative time for the auction. If you would like to, click this link and see what we have to sell. Pictures will be up soon and the website will be updated as we progress toward the sale date.

There are a lot of things I do not like about this time of year. Everything seems to be ending. It is time for Austin to go back to school as well. It has been a good time having him around and we are glad that he was able to come. I know I have used the word “bittersweet”  in pretty much every closing post, but I cannot find a better word to describe it.

Thank you avid followers. It is you who make my job worth it! A big thanks to High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture for making AAWH possible. This year has been very unpredictable. We have leaned on our faith throughout this year’s ups and downs and we will continue to lean on Him to lead us through. I am very hopeful for what the future might bring and look forward to next years wheat harvest!

Until then, please be safe and God bless you and yours!

Emma: AAWH 2014 shirts
(L to R) Austin, Kristy (aka Momma Misener), Me, Dan and the dogs, Heidi and Jesse.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Emma can be reached at emma@allaboardharvest.com

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Megan: North Dakota Nonsense

Dickinson, N.D. – The crew officially started wheat harvest in North Dakota about two weeks ago. The days have been filled with sampling, cutting, sitting in rain, and moving around to find dry (and ripe) fields. Intermittent rain showers have dampened our spirits and significantly slowed down progress. However, our farmer has a few drying bins so once the rain stops we typically get back into the fields quickly. The wheat that is placed in the drying bins can be up to 22% moisture. With such flexibility we can get back to cutting several hours, or often days, before we usually can. It sure beats playing the “babysitting game” of waiting for the 13.5% moisture that most elevators require. Even though the grain is dry enough to thrash, the fields are often still a mess from the downpours. Mud and tow ropes seem to be a common theme for Roland Harvesting this summer. As you may have guessed, within this post you will find more of our infamous “stuck” pictures.

Since this is the last stop of wheat harvest, several other challenges arise as the end of summer creeps closer. After months of living with coworkers, driving endless miles, working extensive hours, and surviving stressful situations each person is tested with every passing day. The crew is exhausted, tempers run high, patience wears thin, and some days are just plain rough. But even with these various challenges the crew sticks together and is able to push through the hardships. Jokes across the CB radio, milkshakes with dinner, and support amongst one another are little things that help pull the crew out of this slump. Brandon, Jose, and Eric have about a week left before they have to return to Wyoming to begin another year of college. Everyone is trying knock out as many acres as possible before part of the crew is lost. Don’t worry, working under pressure is what Roland Harvesting does best!

Beautiful stubble
When the weather cooperates we are able conquer big ol’ fields like this one.

Rainbow to finish off the day
However, when the storms start rolling in the entire operation is effected. The combines have been shut many half days due to rain and have only sat completely idol for two full days.

Unloading
Jose races to get the grain cart unloaded before it starts to downpour.

CR stuck
And with the rain comes mud. Brandon was the first to get stuck in North Dakota.

Combine being pulled out
Thankfully, our farmer’s tractor came to the rescue!

Standing water
Yep, that’s standing water.

Tractor stuck
After Brandon, it was Jose’s turn to get stuck.

Truck stuck
And then came the semi’s chance.

Tracks
Here’s the aftermath. The crew was crossing through a pasture to get to the next field and instead spent the next couple hours playing in the mud.

943
When we are able to get cutting most fields have been yielding between 50 to 60 bushels per acre with tests weights around 62 pounds.

Cutting away
Life is good.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Megan can be reached at megan@allaboardharvest.com.

Posted in 2014, All Aboard, Crop Updates, High Plains Journal, Megan, New Holland, Photos | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Megan: Multistate Operation

Dickinson, N.D./Powell, Wyo./Hemingford, Neb. - The past couple weeks have been a blur for Roland Harvesting. Countless hours of driving and thousands of miles have been logged in the last 2 weeks as we’ve been steadily working in 3 states. Brandon, Jose, and Matt kicked off the adventure about 16 days ago as they left Hemingford, Neb. and moved near Casper, Wyo. This area lacked moisture throughout much of the growing season, which drastically impacted the wheat. The yields hung around 20 bushels per acre with test weights running 58 to 60 pounds. Jake came to Casper to finish up while the boys did a little switcheroo. Brandon, Jose, and Matt trekked back to the farm in Hemingford, loaded up the combines and with the help of Mom moved up to Dickinson, N.D. After unloading the combines and dropping trailers, the crew ventured back to Hemingford for the tractor and grain trailers. After a quick night of sleep and a whole pot of coffee later, the boys hit the road again at sunrise and made it to Dickinson with the last of the equipment.

Meanwhile, Jake finished up near Casper and moved to Worland, Wyo. to start barley harvest. Upon wrapping up in Worland, Jake moved to Powell, Wyo. to continue harvesting malting barley. While Jake kept busy in Wyo. and as the boys settled into N.D., Mom and Dad held the fort down at home in Hemingford. The last couple weeks there have been a constant battle with Mother Nature. They have been trying to finish up the last of the spring wheat but constant rain showers have delayed their efforts. Earlier this week the spring wheat was finally conquered and Dad journeyed up to Dickinson to join the rest of the crew. Mom remains at home for the next few days to prepare summer fallow for planting in a couple weeks. We usually plant our winter wheat at home in early to mid September so things are really starting to sneak up on us.

Loaded up and headed north
The crew loads up again and heads north for our final wheat stop.

Equipment all lined up
The harvest equipment made it to North Dakota piece by piece and trip by trip. We set up “home base” near our farmer’s yard to keep things organized until we began cutting. 

Matt cooking at the camper
Matt shows off his grill-master skills outside the camper. On August 16th the crew said good-bye to Matt as he ventured back to Wyoming to begin some early college classes. Matt has become a “super trucker” and has truly been a vital part of Roland Harvesting this summer!

Green spots
Due to the wet summer in North Dakota, many fields still have green spots.

Cutting before the storm rolls in
However, our farmer knew just where to take us to find ripe wheat! We were able to cut for a few hours until those clouds let loose and down poured.

Eric is back!
With Matt’s absence Roland Harvesting was in a bit of a bind. Eric, one of our truck drivers from last summer, offered to help us out for a couple weeks since his summer job finished up early. Eric met up with the crew a few days ago and jumped right back into work.

Jose and eric watching on
Jose and Eric watch on as Brandon prepares to hook up his header.

Fully loaded at dusk
My favorite time of the day.

Flashback to 2007 barley harvest
Blast to the Past – Flashback to 2007: Mom and Dad harvest malting barley near Worland, Wyo. with the TR combines. We purchased our first CR (a CR 960) in 2005, but for many years the CR did not make the journey to Worland as it was usually tied up in Riverton, Wyo. also combining barley.

For the last 15 years Roland Harvesting has been harvesting malting barley for a family operation in Worland. The 3 brothers run a successful farming business and have been faithful customers that we enjoy seeing year after year. Growing up, it was always one of the last stops before returning to school, making our final days of summer even more special. If a rain day would shut down the combines, our family would load up in the pickup to enjoy some time away in the mountains.

Flashback - cutting barley
Blast to the Past
– Flashback to circa 1996: The crew harvests malting barley near Arco, Idaho. Don’t those mountains make for a breathtaking backdrop?  

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Megan can be reached at megan@allaboardharvest.com.

Posted in 2014, All Aboard, Crop Updates, High Plains Journal, Megan, New Holland, Photos | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Steph: A Brief Harvest Day

StephNEW_thumbnailTen acres down, too many to count to go! Osowski Ag Service was able to get back in the field, if only for a brief time period. When I say brief, I mean a solid half hour of thrashing. A farmer of ours north of town had a ten acre patch of barley that was ready for us to do, but dad and I were optimistic that there had to be something else ready. There were combines moving only a couple miles away so more had to be ready for us too, right? Unfortunately, that was not the case. Hopefully early next week we can get back in the full swing of things!

We are all about shiny, spiffy looking equipment, so that has been my job for the last couple days. My booming height of 5’2″ normally doesn’t bother me, until I start washing large farm equipment. It takes me infinitely longer to wash anything than it does my dad or brother since the time is spent climbing up and down ladders and trying to balance on my tippy toes. We had the radio going in the shop and on that particular radio station, they were going through the big hits of the 80s in alphabetical order. I lived life in the fast lane, on a prayer, and on the edge all in the course of ten minutes.

Quote of the Day: “Well there is a cloud in the sky so yes, there is a ‘possibility’ of rain. Doesn’t mean it’s actually gonna happen.”

You might be a harvester if…washing a car is a cake walk because you are normally washing combines and trucks.

Purple before her wash.

And after!!

Washing the inside of the shield is my least favorite part of washing a combine.

Washing the inside of the shields is by far the messiest, trickiest part of the whole job.

I take my job seriously.

My tools for the day.

My tools of choice for the job.

She shines up real nice.

She cleans up nice!

The difference between fields that are across the road from each other.

The difference in readiness of two wheat fields across the road from each other.

Grass green still.

Still grass green.

Grandpa Hiladore and Dad fixing the rollers on our header.

Grandpa Hiladore and dad fixing on the rollers on the header.

Grandpa :)

Back in the field!!!

Back in the field!!

Some barley.

Barley is a nice change of scenery.

Little change of scenery from wheat.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Steph can be contacted at stephanie@allaboardharvest.com.

Posted in 2014, All Aboard, Crop Updates, High Plains Journal, New Holland, Photos, Sponsors, Stephanie | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment