Steph: Is it over already?!

StephNEW_thumbnailThe morning we depart from home for the two and a half day trip to our first stop in Oklahoma, all I can think about is the summer ahead. All the wheat that awaits, the great memories to be made, the wonderful people we will see again and meet anew. Just when things get in a good groove, right when things are going as smoothly as they have all summer, it all seems to come to an end. Don’t get me wrong, we are all excited to return home after a harvest summer, but there is still that feeling in the back of your mind that things just went by too quickly. I literally feel like I wrote my first post of the summer and now I’m writing my end of the year! Dang, time flies.

Brandon started school this week as a sophomore in high school, leaving any extra maintenance to the machines to be done by Dad and I. Mom has rental properties in town that she has been catching up on maintenance-wise as well. I start classes in my final year at North Dakota State University on Tuesday (Aug. 27th), so I will only be able to make it back home certain weekends to help out with harvest. I have already been examining my class schedule to see when my earliest departure time can be on Fridays.

I was asked countless times this summer what year in college I was, always followed by “well, does that mean this will be your last year on harvest?” Truth me told, I cannot tell you what I am going to be having for breakfast tomorrow, let alone where the turn of events will take me come graduation in May 2014. Regardless if I will be a full-time Osowski Ag Service employee next summer or have to make guest appearances whenever I can sneak time away from my ‘big girl job’, there is no way harvest will not be a part of my summers. As I have said before, it is an addicting lifestyle and once it gets in your blood, there’s no way out. And trust me, we wouldn’t have it any other way!

I would like to extend my deepest thanks to High Plains Journal, Syngenta, and most importantly all our readers out there. It is the readers that make this all possible and worthwhile to us correspondents. I always look forward to reading the comments and emails that I receive from readers and I greatly appreciate all your wonderful feedback! Harvest is just on the verge of starting up here in the home country, so hopefully I can get a post or two on here about that before the season is up. Until next time, I loved sharing all our adventures with you, and thank you so much for following our journey!

Quote(s) of the Day: “Gross, it even looks too wet from the road. Get your act together already!” “Walsh County ain’t ever seen anything like this before!”

Harvest Tip: There is no such thing as going on harvest too many times.

Our older machine, getting some lovin' before harvest starts at home.

Our older machine, getting some lovin’ before harvest starts up at home.

Brandon changing oil on his dirt bike. He missed all his toys.

Brandon changing oil in his dirt bike. He misses his toys throughout summer.

Dad cruising around the farm.

Dad cruising around the farm.

Checking over all the fingers and bushings on the header.

Dad looking over the bushings and fingers on our header that stays home for summer, making sure it is all ready to go.

I got a new car!!

I got a new car! New Holland yellow, I know. It was not planned. New car and new Luke Bryan CD all in one day. It was a wonderful day, let me tell you.

Little too green yet....

A little too green yet. Wish it would just hurry up already.

Good lookin' wheat!

We predict around 80 bushels for a yield once we finally get to cut.

Green straw and a few green heads yet.

Green heads and straw. The two fields we tested today were at 15.8 percent and 17 percent moisture.

There's one in every crowd it seems. Can't seem to find a ripe field!

There’s one in every crowd it seems. Can’t find a ripe enough field!

My windmill obsession. I forgot to share this one.

My windmill obsession. I forgot to share this one!

One of my favorites from the year!

One of my favorites from the year! I also have a sunset obsession.

Crew photo! From left to right: Brandon, Bob (dad), Loree (mom) and Steph!

One final thanks to all our sponsors and readers out there! 

Have a great rest of the summer!

-Osowski Ag Service

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and Syngenta. You can contact Stephanie at stephanie@allaboardharvest.com.

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Z Crew: Final Post for the 2013 Season

headshot2Denton, Montana/Louisville, Nebraska: Last night, through a series of events, I was told Mom and Dad are loading up the combine at Denton and heading West for their last stop of the summer: Jordan, Montana.

The crop at Denton was tall and heavy. Yielding anywhere from 60 to 75 bushels per acre, it was the best wheat the Z Crew saw all summer! Averaging around 40 acres a day, the cutting was slow moving due to the wheat being just a hair wet. Mom and Dad were working every day at Denton, slow and steady. Unsure of what Jordan, Mont. holds, they’re headed that way and will cut whatever they are able.

Back in Nebraska, Callie started her first week of high school as a sophomore. Over the weekend, Jenna made a trip home from Pennsylvania where she finished a farm show for Claas. We enjoyed a weekend of sister time! It was great having everyone together again. Jenna left Sunday afternoon for another show in Illinois. Meanwhile, Jamie and I have stayed busy around her house cooking, loading the dishwasher, and playing with Eli. He’s growing like a weed!

Although this harvest season wasn’t the best we’ve seen, I can’t help but look back at the last few months and feel completely blessed this is the crazy lifestyle I am a part of. I’d be lying if I said I’m not shedding a few tears right now. From the fields of Oklahoma and Texas to the prairies of Montana, the Z Crew made unforgettable harvest memories in 2013 and we’re so glad you joined us for the drive.

Z Crew: Line at the Elevator
Mom waits in line at the Denton grain elevator.

Z Crew: Heavy Crops
Combing is a slow process with this much straw!

Z Crew: Checking the Field
Dad (far right) and others walk out into the wheat to check the field.

Z Crew: Rounds in the Combine
Making rounds in the combine.

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

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Green wheat delays harvest in North Dakota

South Dakota- Winter wheat was 87 percent harvested, behind 100 last year and 98 average.  Spring wheat ripe was 93 percent, behind 100 last year and 98 average.  Harvested were 54 percent, well behind 100 last year and 80 average.  Condition rated 2 percent very poor, 6 poor, 47 fair, 37 good and 8 excellent.

North Dakota- Harvesters are seeing wet, green wheat across the state. Spring wheat turning color was 87 percent, behind last year at 100 but near 89 average.  Ripe was 43 percent.  Harvested was 9 percent, well behind last year’s 82 and 35 average.  Condition rated 1 percent very poor, 4 poor, 23 fair, 61 good and 11 excellent.  Durum wheat turning color was 75 percent, well behind 99 last year but equal to 75 average.  Ripe was 21 percent.  Harvested was 2 percent, well behind last year’s 57 and 20 average.  Condition rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 25 fair, 65 good and 9 excellent.

Montana- Winter wheat was 78 percent harvested, behind 91 last year and the 69 average.  Spring wheat was 13 percent harvested, behind 60 last year and the 25 average.  Condition rated 3 percent very poor, 6 poor, 24 fair, 56 good and 11 excellent.  Durum wheat rated 13 percent very poor, 13 poor, 38 fair, 34 good and 2 excellent.

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Megan: 2013 Harvest Recap

8895283761_27d9efa015_tAs another wheat harvest season slowly begins to wind down, I reflect upon the summer, as I do every year. Reminiscing is always full of the ups and downs from the season, as well as comparisons to the years before and those yet to come. This summer was off to late a start, with harvest running almost a month behind from last year’s run. However, similar to last season, many areas in the wheat belt were still fighting the drought, making for lower yields, especially in southern states. Late winter weather and frost also made an impact on much of the wheat, but some of it surprised us and managed to make average yields or above. The wheat crop began to improve in northern Oklahoma and into parts of Kansas. Unfortunately, due to the lack of moisture much of the wheat remained very short, making cutting rather challenging at many of these stops. During this time Roland Harvesting added some “firsts” to our list by purchasing a stripper header and combining peas. Home harvest in Nebraska was much better than anticipated but rain showers made this stop considerably longer than we had hoped. Roland Harvesting recently made the move up north and is currently split up for the time being. Brandon and his crew are in North Dakota, waiting on green wheat and trying to steer clear of the rain storms passing through almost daily. Meanwhile, Dad and Mom are harvesting malting barley in Wyoming.

Brandon, Jose, Eric, and Kasey will be returning to college in a couple of weeks and it seems as if it’s only natural for them to look back upon all the events and stories from the last few months.  Today, as we were all laughing about some of the ridiculous things that have happened this season, Brandon turns to me and says, “Megan, isn’t it so sad that this is your last summer on harvest?!” As soon as the words left his lips, it hit me. Who says this is the last one? Summer and harvest will always go hand in hand, whether I am actually out in the wheat field or hundreds of miles away. My life, along with my family’s life has been shaped by harvest and it will continue to influence us.

So, to say that this is my “last” summer on harvest is inaccurate on many levels. I’ve thought for the past three years that it would be my “last” summer on harvest and somehow I have always ended up back on the harvest trail. It’s impossible to know what the future holds but I’ve come to enjoy every day and make the most of each moment. As I’ve learned from my older sister, Ashley, harvest doesn’t cease to exist just because you aren’t able to go on the road full time. Harvest is a way of life and that can never be changed. My family’s livelihood is built from the challenges, memories, and values we have gained and encountered through harvest. Although I have decided to pursue a career in nursing, I truly hope to return to a rural area and continue my involvement with agriculture. All in all, no matter where I end up I will always make time for harvest. There is no way you can keep me away from those gorgeous sunsets over wheat fields!

Cutting away
My harvest posts would not have been possible without my wonderful family and our harvesting operation. Also, a big shout out to the all of our faithful customers who have kept Roland Harvesting in business for the past 35 years! We would not have made it this far without you all!

Gorgeous wheat
A huge thank you to High Plains Journal and Syngenta for sponsoring AAWH this year. And a friendly thanks to all of the AAWH followers as well!

Working from the pickup
I frequently wrote posts from my make-shift office in the pickup. It worked pretty dang well for me since I could go hop in the grain cart or take a truck in after I finished up!

All Aboard Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and Syngenta. Megan can be reached at megan@allaboardharvest.com.

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Win a Prize Pack!

You could win a Harvest Prize Pack! Simply comment on the question below to be entered to win. The winning entry will be randomly selected from the comments section of this blog. You must comment to win.

How do you celebrate the end of wheat harvest?

To enter scroll down and leave a reply. We will announce a winner at 2 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, August 21.

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