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Rain halts harvest in Olney, Texas

Wednesday, June 3

John Deere Harvester Works Customer Support Team is a blessing to have when we are broke down. The Customer Support team follows the harvest run and puts in several hours each summer to help harvesters keep up and running. The Customer Support team travels with a semi trailer that has special harvesting parts that dealers might not have in stock. The other day, we needed just that. This time Darin Jacobs, John Deere Customer Support team member, of Erie, Ill. came to the rescue.

Our time is precious so everyone on our crew pitches in to help the John Deere representatives by helping to fix our equipment and making sure the team has all the tools they need.

Thursday, June 4

Harvest isn't always black and white. There are those grey days where you are out testing fields and not really able to harvest. This is the most frustrating part of harvest. It would be nice if we were either cutting or rained out. Unfortunately, if it rains, it doesn't always mean we are indefinitely unable to cut. This is where we start playing the waiting game.

Today, we tested around six different fields. The reason for trying so many is because the stage of weed growth when a field is sprayed affects the moisture. Since we don't know the answer to this in the fields we need to cut, we tested the sprayed fields to determine which field is our best bet to cut.

It was a "hurry up and wait" day because we thought we could go any minute. Unfortunately, the moisture content just was not low enough and ranged from 14 to 20 percent. We are crossing our fingers and hoping tomorrow is the day to cut!

Friday, June 5

We finally got started harvesting in the early afternoon and cut until dusk, which is around 10 p.m. in Olney, Texas. We were happy to have put at least a part of a day in.

To get a taste from home, I made my favorite rhubarb dessert for one of our cookouts. Rhubarb is very common in South Dakota. We make breads, jams, and desserts such as pies, bars and crisps with it. Since rhubarb isn't as commonly found in the South and we brought some South Dakota grown rhubarb along for the harvest season. While it most definitely is not fat-free, this family recipe is a definite crowd pleaser!

Saturday, June 6

Today, we will get our first full day in since May 30, and are excited to feel like we are back in the swing of things. However, threats of showers tomorrow may rain on our parade.

The wheat we are harvesting has been subjected to frost and drought. It has a good stand, but the wheat's growth was stunted from the frost which came at the worst time of the wheat's growing phase. The lack of rain didn't make matters any better. As a result, the crop is averaging 10 bushels per acre. The weeds have grown from the rain we received the past week, and the abnormally cool mornings and evenings have made for shorter harvest days. Sometimes when we are harvesting in Texas, the hot, humid weather doesn't depart with the setting sun. The cool evenings and mornings we have been experiencing this year have been especially enjoyable to us Northerners.

Jada Bulgin can be reached at jada@allaboardharvest.com.

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