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 , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Emma: Leslie from AAWH

EmmaWe are cutting wheat! This field is the first and the last field of wheat we will be cutting in 2014. What a way to end the season. I find it quite fitting given this year’s conditions. Enjoy the video!

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

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

Emma: We’re Cuttin’ Wheat!

EmmaThis year has been totally unpredictable, as most of you know. Thankfully, we’re cutting wheat in South Dakota. We get to end the year on a good note! Misener Family Harvesters have been cutting for this particular customer, Buck, for over 40 years. He’s like family!

The wheat averaged right at 30 bushels per acre. The moisture was really up and down due to early morning dews and the never ending humidity of South Dakota. Overall, the final moisture result was 12.5 percent. The best wheat we have cut this year! Haha! It was nice to be in the combine, even if it was only for a couple of days.

Here’s a few pictures of our week.

Emma: Good Ending
Leslie came north with us this trip. We always love having him around. He and Dan were just getting ready to take a sample.

Emma: Good Ending
Good to go!

Emma: Good Ending
The farmer we are cutting for likes to drop the straw to bale.

Emma: Good Ending
Our dogs Jesse and Heidi enjoying some time out in the field.

Emma: Good Ending

Emma: Good Ending
Buck has some owls posted along the borders of his field to try and keep the pesky geese away from the crops. Heidi was really curious!

Emma: Good Ending

Emma: Good Ending

Emma: Good Ending

A bittersweet ending to a season. Of course, it always is though, huh?

Be safe and God bless!

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

Posted in 2014, Emma, High Plains Journal, New Holland, Photos | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments