Steph: Waitin’ on Wheat

StephNEW_thumbnailProgress for Osowski Ag Service has been brought to a halt by green wheat. We have an irrigated circle and one field north of town that we are anxiously waiting on. Usually these types of things happen right when we get our groove going. Days are all meshed together because we all do the same thing each day anyway. This may sound boring to some, but we love times like that. Hemingford has the perfect harvest feel to it, in my opinion; lines at the elevator, dust flying in the distance, truck drivers getting out and chatting with one another while they wait in line, service trucks cruising main street. There really is nothing better than the feeling of harvest in the air.

While we were servicing equipment yesterday, Brandon had a fun thing happen to him. A neighboring farmer drove up and was asking questions about his own machine, a CR9065. Brandon is our tech guru and is becoming quite the little mechanic, I must say, so he knows quite a bit. The neighboring farmer was having some issues with his machine and wanted to take Brandon to check and see if he could get it figured out. Turns out, Brandon was able to tweak a few things on the screen in the combine car, tighten a few belts, and all was well! We have been calling this Brandon’s first service call, and he couldn’t be more proud of himself. And neither can we!

Harvest Tip: Only let one person give you directions at a time.

You might be a harvester if…people don’t recognize you when you’re not in your work clothes.

How harvest used to be.

A little glimpse into the past.

This is what happens when you give Brandon the camera.

This is what happens when you give Brandon the camera…what a goofball.

And there he figured it out.

Gotta love replacing sickle blades!

Replacing sickle blades.

We love our automatic socket wrench.

Petey, all snuggled in to pit 3.

Petey, all snuggled in to pit 3.

Unloading at the co-op.

Again with the unloading photos.

More unloading business.

A little throwback to when we went to Estes Park for the day. Family bonding!

A little throwback to when we spent the day in Estes Park.

Another throwback to the storm we weathered last week. A visitor to our field took this awesome photo that I was given to share!

Another throwback to when we weathered the storm last week. This photo was taken by a friend of ours that visited the field that is allowing me to share it with you!

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


Posted in 2014, All Aboard, Crop Updates, High Plains Journal, New Holland, Photos, Sponsors, Stephanie | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Colorado winter wheat harvest 87 percent complete

Colorado- The winter wheat harvest was estimated at 87 percent complete, up from 68 percent the previous week. Forty percent of the spring wheat crop was turning color, up from 35 percent previously.  This is compared with 58 percent last year and 54 percent on average.

Nebraska- Winter wheat mature was 97 percent, ahead of 93 last year but equal to the five-year average. Winter wheat harvested was 79 percent, ahead of 72 last year but behind 83 average.

South Dakota- Winter wheat conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 3 poor, 19 fair, 69 good, and 9 excellent. Winter wheat mature was 78 percent,  ahead of 67 last year but behind the five-year average of 87. Harvested was 27 percent, ahead of 18 last year but behind 55 average.

Spring wheat conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 19 fair, 66 good, and 14 excellent.  Coloring was 63 percent, well behind 88 last year and 89 average. Mature was 17 percent, near last year at 18, but well behind 44 average.

North Dakota- Winter wheat turning color advanced to 73 percent. Mature was 3 percent. Conditions rated 2 percent very poor, 10 poor, 31 fair, 50 good, and 7 excellent.

Spring wheat headed rated 91 percent, equal to last year, but behind 93 average.  Turning color was 29 percent, equal to last year, but behind 36 average. Mature was 2 percent. Conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 2 poor, 15 fair, 64 good, and 18 excellent.

Durum wheat jointed was 83 percent, behind 99 last year and 97 for the five-year average. Headed rated 49 percent, well behind 89 last year and 82 average. Turning color was 10 percent, behind 18 last year and 19 average. Conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 16 fair, 78 good, and 5 excellent.

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

Jada: Waiting on Green Wheat

After wrapping up harvest in Goodland, Kan., Hoffman Harvesting moved to Philip, S.D. on July 24. The move was long but uneventful. The stay in Philip however was short lived because the wheat was green. While waiting on the wheat, we moved to Pierre and harvested some wheat west of town. On the 27, we returned to Philip to harvest the wheat we were waiting on.

Trucks have trains to help keep up

The South Dakota wheat harvest brought long lines and hauls due to train delays. To try to prevent waiting combines, we already have our trains hooked up. Usually we don’t need them until fall harvest.

Wheat is spotty in South Dakota. Some of the wheat is green and some is ready to cut. It all depends on when the wheat was seeded. Our next regularly scheduled stop- Gettysburg- is still green as is most of the spring wheat we plan to cut in South Dakota. For now, we plan to try to pick up work cutting wheat that is ready.

Theo prepares for when he will be able to dump his truck

Theo untarps his truck and will settle in for an hour an a half to two hour wait before he is able to be dumped at Pierre.

More long lines at the elevator

The view of the line before Theo’s truck.

The Pierre, Philip, and Fort Pierre elevators are already full and have long lines. They are struggling to get the wheat on trains to free up space because trains are delayed. We went home to get some more trailers and now have trains connected to our trucks to help us keep up with our combines. Usually, we don’t get them out until fall harvest. I noticed some other harvesters are doing the same.

The view as the sun goes down

The sunset by the river.

Golden wheat fields along the Missouri river

Where wheat fields and water sports meet.

The view of where we were cutting in Pierre was beautiful and very remote. While  driving to our field, we drove along the Missouri river which had us feeling we should be on boats and jet skis instead of trucking. While harvesting in Philip, we took our loads to Onida even though the haul was 100 miles away. It was the closest elevator that has room for wheat but is now getting full too. Hopefully these problems will be addressed before the spring wheat turns or we will continue to have the same problems.

Austin dumps Leon on the go

Austin dumps Leon on the go. With long lines at the elevator, a grain cart operator can quickly turn into a trucker.

Of the wheat we have cut, yields have been ranging from 45- 55 bushels per acre with a protein high of 12.5. Test weights are ranging from 60- 63.

Alex cuts out a washout

Alex cuts out a waterway.

A field cut accross

Yes, this field has been “cut across”- pun intended! I guess it was funnier on a 45 minute drive to the field to deliver food.

A birds eye view of the combine

The wheat is spotty here in South Dakota. Green and yellow (ready) wheat are neighbors and even in the same field as is the case here.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Jada can be reached at

Posted in 2014 | 1 Comment

Megan: Do Unto Others

During our time in Imperial, Neb. Roland Harvesting experienced a “first” that we had hoped would never come.

One morning, Brandon went to the service truck to gather a few things to begin the daily maintenance work. Upon opening the door to the tool box, he was shocked to see that all of the tools were missing. After searching in the other compartments it was discovered that numerous wrenches, grease guns, impacts, sockets, gear pullers, and several other specialty tools had all been stolen sometime during the night. The service truck was parked in the farmer’s field almost 10 miles from town, essentially out in the middle of nowhere. We contacted the local law enforcement but experienced multiple hang-ups with the investigation.

It is so sad that after traveling for over 35 years from Texas to North Dakota that this is the first time we have ever encountered such a demoralizing act. The monetary loss is staggering but to have it happen in our home state is even more disheartening. The tools themselves can be replaced but it is the memories that were linked to them that are gone. Many of these tools were given to Dad as gifts from family members and us kids. Some of them he received from Grandpa Bob over 40 years ago. Countless hours of hard work by our harvesting business paid for the rest. As the thieves laid their hands on these tools do you think they understood or cared about the importance or significance of them? With greed consuming their thoughts, I doubt they even realized that without these tools, we cannot perform maintenance on machinery or fix breakdowns, ultimately crippling the effectiveness of our operation.

Harvesting is more than just a business to my family. It is our livelihood and with it comes a sense of pride. A hand shake is worth our word. Honesty is what we practice. And hard work is what we know. Being defied by selfish strangers has made us feel vulnerable. Our privacy was invaded and our trust in others shaken. However, as I’ve learned from Mom and Dad, you can’t think for others and you continue to do what is right. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Service truck
The service truck sits vacant as we scramble to replace tools to keep our harvesting operation running smoothly. 

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

Posted in 2014, All Aboard, High Plains Journal, Megan, New Holland | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Z Crew: Update before we hit the road

headshot2Limon, CO: Saturday afternoon around 3pm the Z Crew officially finished harvest in Colorado. The rest of the afternoon was spent doing miscellaneous chores and then we had an evening of company with the farmer and his family.

We all dreaded Sunday morning. Jamie, Curt and Eli left the trailer about 10am to head back to Nebraska. They arrived safely home on Sunday night. And Sunday morning/afternoon/evening was spent cleaning the combine and header, greasing trucks, adjusting breaks and prepping for the long trip to Montana. We got the job finished right before the rain started to fall.

Now I sit here on Monday in a trailer house half way “tore down” and ready to hit the road. Mom and Dad drove out to the farm early this morning to settle up with the farmer and drive the trucks back to town. Once they’re in town we’ll finish packing up the trailer, hook it up and be on the road.

This trip to Montana will be a little bit different than any other trip we’ve ever made. To save a few days and a whole lot of miles, we’ve recruited the help of the farmer’s nephew to move equipment north. We’ll have a full caravan on the road!

Jim: Peterbilt, combine trailer, tractor trailer
Tracy: Freightliner, car trailer hauling the service pickup
Taylor: Dually pulling the trailer house
Callie: minivan
Chanse: farmer’s pickup hauling the header trailer

We’ve got a long three days ahead of us. As long as “nothing blows up” we should make it to Jordan, Montana in good time on Wednesday. Wish us luck on the road!

Z Crew: Garage nights
Some of my fondest memories from this summer were made in this garage. We are very blessed to work with such great people.

Z Crew: Basketball Game
After a filling dinner I don’t know how the guys can even pick up a basketball.

Z Crew: Cheerleaders
Me, Charley (farmer’s granddaughter), Callie and Riley (farmer’s granddaughter) are just fine cheering from the sidelines.

Z Crew: Mini Truck Driver
Eli loved to pretend to drive the “go-go’s.” This is the closest thing to a smile I could get. He was too busy making noises and driving like a madman.

Z Crew: Funky clouds
Sunday, long before it started to rain, the clouds began to move in.

Z Crew: Helpin' Cal
Callie’s small enough that she crawled into the back of the combine to help Dad with a little project.

Z Crew: Loading the Combine
Rushed by rain, we got the combine loaded in record time.

Z Crew: Rain moving in
As Dad backed up to hook up the tractor trailer, the rain lingered to the northwest.

Z Crew: Miss Riley
Miss Riley points to Limon on the Lincoln County map in the shop office.

Z Crew: Batman
Very involved in 4-H and the Elbert County fair, the kids had their steers out to get ready for the upcoming week. This is Batman.

Z Crew: Russel
And here’s Russel.

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

Posted in 2014, All Aboard, High Plains Journal, Jenna, New Holland, Photos, Z Crew | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment