Harvest moves north to Kansas

Published on: 00:43AM Jun 16, 2009

We completed our Texas harvest on Friday evening! We battled some showers and higher than 13.5% moisture wheat throughout the week, but were able to complete the job. The producer we worked for was happy the wheat harvest was complete and is hoping for a much better crop in 2010. I hope this part of the country continues to see the nice rains they have been getting the past few weeks. The pastures were nice and green, cotton was beginning to grow and wild hogs and turkeys were everywhere!
Saturday morning at 7:30AM found the crew and I beginning our end of the job ritual, "cleaning the equipment". I like to try and get this dirty job completed before it gets to hot! The combines and headers must be blown down with compressed air to remove all the debris that accumulates over a two week period. We alway blow the combines off every night when were done with gas powered leaf blowers to help keep them clean and eliminate the possibility of fire. If we have been in alot of mud and things get to dirty we also wash everything. We were all cleaned and had our equipment loaded by 3:00PM, it was now 97 degrees, the crew did an excellant job of getting the job done. Thanks alot Crew!
We left Vernon at 6:00AM Sunday and had a nice cool uneventful drive north to Kiowa, Kansas arriving at 11:30 AM. When I say uneventful, I mean we had no problems, that's the way I like it! With 9 vehicles and 176 tires on the pavement there is always the possibility of some problem! The Kiowa area received 1 to 2.5 inches of rain on Saturday evening and more showers Sunday afternoon, so all we got done was get everything unloaded. We got our trailer houses set up again also, at least we won't have to listen to trains blowing their horns all night anymore, as we are now at least a mile from the BNSF main line instead of a block away!
Having harvested in the Kiowa area for over 30 years I always enjoy coming here and seeing friends that I've known since I was a kid. It's always nice to catch up with the other harvester friends and see how their harvest has been going.  Some of us meet at the Corner Stop for morning coffee and alot of conversation, of which only half of it is believable!!  In the evening when we are done we usually eat and have a beverage at the Plum Thicket, which at one time was known as the Ranch House to some of you who have ever been here on harvest!
Kiowa has always been known as a place where the Kansas wheat harvest begins, at times we have been interveiwed by newspaper, TV,and radio reporters. It was also called "Combine City USA"  back in the 70's and 80's, the John Deere and Massey dealers sold hundreds of combines here!
We began harvesting today near Burlington,Ok with 3 machines and by Kiowa with the other 2. The first fields we cut here are all over the board running from 20 to 40 bushels per acre with test weights around 58lbs. Temperatures were in the mid 90's today and are expected to be that way all week. As we drove up here yesterday it looks like harvest will be on from Hobart,OK to Kiowa, a 200 mile stretch!

Happy harvest from the land of oz!