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Laura: Brush!

LH Blog PhotoBrush!, Colorado—One of the fun things I’ve found about harvest is the opportunity to “live” in other towns. Obviously, “live” has to be used loosely because sometimes its only for a couple of days, but sometimes we end up staying for weeks. The longer the stay, the more acclimated we become.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes in my life, it can be easy to get caught up in the day to day activities at home/town/our business and things sometimes seem to become routine and business as usual. Being on the road like this causes me to shift priorities and look at the world through a different lens. Meeting new people and trying new things helps expand my horizons and makes us have a deeper appreciation for areas outside our own and even deepens my appreciation for the area where we come from.

Each town along our stop has been very pleasant and had something nice to offer. Brush! was no exception. Yes, you have to use the “!” It is their “thing” and seemed very fitting. From the time we arrived, it seems that everyone engaged us with a welcoming spirit.  Everyone I encountered was so friendly and several people even invited us to their personal events or town activities. I discovered that one of the other moms and her family come to Hays a couple times a year so we may get a chance to reconnect.

I’ve said before I try to make our stops as “normal” as possible for family life in between all of our harvest responsibilities. Our location was a harvest mom’s dream because all of the activities we wanted to do, aside from grocery shopping, were within walking or jogging distance! Since we spend so much time in a vehicle, the last thing we want to do is get back in one if we can use our own energy to motor around!

It is a testament to the town and people when we can say, “This is a place we could live!”  Below are some of the fun or delicious things that Brush (or surrounding area) had to offer while we were in town.

HPH - July 2015

HPH - July 2015

We were invited to the chamber of commerce picnic, so we braved the rain sprinkles and are so glad we did. What a great cookout the area organizations and businesses put on!   The band was entertaining too! 

HPH - July 2015

HPH - July 2015

Brush Area Museum and Cultural Center offered nice displays about the history of the area! 

IMG_4300[1] IMG_4523[1] IMG_4532[1]

The public library had great programming, books, and educational toys that rivaled or exceeded much larger locations. Touch a truck, a petting zoo, toys, leather crafting, story time complete with music, sign language, and crafts are just a few of the things we enjoyed while there not to mention their friendly staff. 

HPH - July 2015

HPH - July 2015

I make breakfast burritos at home but have never smothered them.  I had the opportunity to try these in both Brush and Fort Morgan. I’m in love. If any of you have a tried and true smothered breakfast burrito recipe, please send it my way!

On a side note, I want to give a little shout out to the farm couple from Indiana who stopped in when we were cutting in the Brush! area. We regret we were not available to visit with you at the time you stopped, but it sounds like Kirby had a nice time chatting with you. May you continue to have safe travels and a fun trip. Thanks for your interest in AAWH!

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. You can contact Laura at laura@allaboardharvest.com.

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Posted in 2015, aawh, All Aboard, Crop Updates, harvest, High Plains Journal, Laura, New Holland, Photos | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Steph: Take a ride in Purple!

StephNEW_thumbnailHemingford, Nebraska—Ever wanted to take a ride in Purple with me? Well, here’s your chance! For your enjoyment I took a little video of the most interesting trail to a field that I have taken all summer. There’s some commentary and a solid soundtrack to go along with it, in case you needed more of an incentive to watch the video.

The wheat we are doing is irrigated and is doing around 70 bushels per acre, 59 pound test weights and around 11 for protein content.

Now, for the video!

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

 

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Posted in 2015, aawh, All Aboard, Crop Updates, harvest, High Plains Journal, New Holland, Photos, Sponsors, Stephanie, stories, Syngenta, wheat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Laura: Colorado harvesting

LH Blog PhotoMorgan County, Colorado—This was our first year for our Brush job. We have been in touch with a harvester who retired from full- time harvesting after last season, and his farmers were needing a new harvester. This job as well as our first Texas job of the year seemed like they would make a good addition to the rest of our run. We appreciate the harvester for these opportunities as well as the farmers for their willingness to work with us.

It is always interesting starting a new job for someone. You have to learn the fields, personality styles, etc. There are no two jobs exactly the same on a harvest run. It’s always a good feeling when it appears that both parties are a good fit—and it seems like our new jobs have been just that!

One day, Ryan and the farmer were opening a field up, and Ryan noticed the yield on the yield monitor seemed unusually low compared to what we had been experiencing so far. It was so low, he was concerned that somehow a trap was open. He called over on the radio to one of the other combine drivers and sure enough, the yields significantly higher—like 30 bushels higher. There were no traps open, but the particular strip they were cutting was near a power line, a place an aerial sprayer applying fungicide would not be able to fly so close to. One could argue that maybe the yield difference was due to the fact that field edges sometimes are more stressed. That could be the case; however, I suspect part of it was also due to the lack of the dual action fungicide on this strip that our farmer had applied to all of his acres. There was lots of rust pressure this year in the area due to cooler temperatures and lots of moisture.

I don’t need to rehash all the ways this year has been a challenge. If you’ve been following our journey, you already know weather and weather-related issues have been our top stressors. This job was a breath of fresh air for the crew working here. Since we were able to start cutting, we have been able to cut every day with the exception of last Tuesday (though some days have had delayed starts or early finishes due to high moisture in the grain or rain). The fields were large and the moves between fields were such that we didn’t have to remove headers making us more efficient. Despite the rust and late freeze, yields were still good. We saw yields come across the monitor go over 100 at times, and we were cutting dryland acres! Yields averaged around 60 bushels per acre with tests weights generally in the 60s for this job.

HPH - July 2015

Synchronized combine driving!

HPH - July 2015

Colorado doing what Colorado does in the late afternoon and evening.

HPH - July 2015

Not quite 100, but impressive nonetheless! 

HPH - July 2015

Love the Colorado sky!

It was fun getting to know our new famers. We found we were kindred spirits with our love of all things nature and our interest in photography. They even let me try their camera out with the 400 mm zoom lens, which was so much fun to play with.  The pictures below are some of the great shots they captured while watching their crops being harvested.  Thanks for letting me share a few of them!

HPH - July 2015

HPH - July 2015

HPH - July 2015

HPH - July 2015

HPH - July 2015

HPH - July 2015

HPH - July 2015

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All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. You can contact Laura at laura@allaboardharvest.com.

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Posted in 2015, aawh, All Aboard, Crop Updates, harvest, High Plains Journal, Laura, New Holland | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Steph: Slingin’ mud

StephNEW_thumbnailHemingford, Nebraska—Remember the other day when I mentioned that all the crews around here have been “playing” in the mud? Well, turns out I get to add a stuck story to the existing archives sooner than I thought!

Brandon was opening up our first field here in Hemingford while Dad rode along to see how the wheat looked. Brandon had to kick on the four-wheel drive and rear-wheel assist within minutes of starting the field but made it all the way around smoothly (only a 20-acre piece). Dad hopped out when Brandon made it all the way around, thinking that he was in the clear. Moments later, Dad and I watched in silence as Brandon struck a wet spot and sank, right to the frame.

It didn’t seem to be stuck too terribly bad, so we called Farmer Steve (who was working ground just east of us) and he brought his tractor over for us. We hooked ropes up and Dad gave her some good tugs but our big yellow baby wouldn’t budge. It was time to call in reinforcements—the wrecker trucks. They showed up with two, and both Mom and I laughed a little thinking, “Psh, we will only need one of those!” Boy, were we wrong. They hooked up the one wrecker truck and our big yellow baby STILL wouldn’t move an inch! So in came the second wrecker.

Dad hopped in the combine to help the wrecker guys out a little by putting the combine in reverse while the wreckers tugged. However, that only caused the combine to spin in its place. Dad then threw it into neutral and slowly but surely, our big yellow baby was freed. To the guys from Baas Towing, we truly appreciate your help and it was great to meet you! We spent a couple hours cleaning off the mud from the tires, rims and frame of the combine but then decided to just call it a day, considering it was already 9 p.m. at this point.

A little trucker anecdote: As I was waiting in line, I had a truck driver hop out of his truck as he was leaving the elevator to come and apologize to me for cutting me off on the highway heading into town. My awareness when driving is on high alert for things like that so honestly, I didn’t blink an eye when it happened. I simply reacted. However, times like these help me regain faith in humanity and it was nice of him to take the time to talk to me. And he was an avid All Aboard follower so you can’t beat that!

Quote of the Day“Having a mud slingin’ good time!”

Stuff Harvesters Like—A good tow rope.

Found a bit of a soft spot.

To the frame.

Stuck.

Attempted to use Farmer Steve's tractor...it didn't work.

The tractor wasn’t quite enough to get us out.

Bringing in reinforcements.

Tried using every tow rope we had in the service truck.

Waiting for the wreckers to arrive!

Waiting for the wreckers to arrive!

Mama Bear.

Mama Bear :)

Going to assess the situation.

Going to assess the situation.

Time to dig.

Freeing up the wheels.

Attempting to free up the wheels a bit.

Scoop some and more would move right into that place!

Wreckers to the rescue!

Yes, it took TWO wreckers to get us out.

Yup, it took TWO wreckers to get us out!

He seems proud, doesn't he?

Brandon sure seems proud of his ruts!

Brandon standing in his ruts.

Photo opp with the wrecker guys!

Photo opp with the wrecker guys!

'GP' stands for ground pit, y'all.

“GP” stands for ground pit, y’all.

Sunset lovin'.

Can’t ever get used to this beauty.

Can't ever get used to the beauty.

The lighting was fantastic this evening.Petey waiting for a load.

 

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

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Posted in 2015, aawh, All Aboard, Crop Updates, harvest, High Plains Journal, New Holland, Photos, Sponsors, Stephanie, stories, Syngenta, wheat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Z Crew: The balance

headshotLimon, Colorado—The whole gang’s here and I don’t think we’ve had this much fun in a really long time. It’s like harvest back in 2004! The sisters lounge at the pool, braid each other’s hair, paint nails and kill time at the local shops.

On harvest there’s a balance between family and harvest. Our No. 1 source of family time comes from dinner in the field. Someone will make the main dish, someone will make a couple sides and someone will make dessert. The women will deliver the meal to the field while the working crew finishes a round and parks for a few minutes to scarf down the food. Work is important…really important. But family time is important, too.

We’ve always put an importance on eating meals as a family. Some of my favorite memories are of the family sitting around the table back home finishing a meal, pushing our plates to the center of the table and spending the next three or four hours laughing so hard we cry.

The food brings everyone together and for some reason it always tastes better in a wheat field.

Z Crew: Limon Crew
We’re the minority among these green combines.

Z Crew: Ga and E
Jenna grabbed Eli and my camera and hopped in the combine with Ma. Thanks for the pictures, Jen!

Z Crew: new combine driver
Eli will probably be taking over the business in the next eight years.

Z Crew: E!
Such a little model.

Z Crew: Nora Grace
Nora Grace is a ball of nose-scrunching smiles.

Z Crew: little farmer
Eli can’t get enough of the “broom brooms.”

 

Z Crew: E and Nena
E and Nena (Jenna) watching the combines come in.

Z Crew: dinner with the crew
One field breaks for family time while another works away.

Z Crew: watchin' the combines go by
The kiddos waited for about 10 minutes to watch the combine across the road drive by.

Z Crew: bye Nena
Jenna hopped in with the crew across the road. ;)

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. The Z Crew can be reached at zcrew@allaboardharvest.com.

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Posted in 2015, aawh, All Aboard, harvest, High Plains Journal, Jenna, New Holland, Photos, Sponsors, stories, wheat, Z Crew | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments