Osowski crew finishes in Lyons, Kan., and moves to new area
Saturday, June 29
The wonderful wheat here in Lyons, Kan., has been keeping us all on our toes. With the yields coming in at 50 to 55 bushels, the whole family is needed out at the field. We have a 35-mile trip to the elevator in Hutchinson, Kan., so Dad and I have been busy little truckers. Once we arrive at the field, we are full again shortly after and sent on our way. The moisture has been consistent at 10 percent and the occasional odd digit, test weights at 64 pounds and protein at 9 to 10.
Brandon was positive we were going to finish up last night until the storm clouds barreled in and turned everything around. The wind came up and the combine was shut down for the remainder of the evening.
Harvest Tip: When pulling out of a field with a loaded truck and there is a tight entrance to the field, make sure to walk it to know if your truck will make it onto the road and not take a detour into the ditch first.
Monday, July 1
Our time in Lyons, Kan., feels like it happened in a whirlwind. When we finished up in Helena, Okla., we loaded equipment, traveled here, unloaded equipment and got right back to work again all in the same day. Now, four days and 400 acres later, we are all loaded up yet again and looking to move to our next stop in St. Francis, Kan., in the next couple of days. Yields stayed in the high 50s, test weights at 64 pounds, and protein from 9 to 10.
It seems that almost all our AAWH crews have been having some type of tire trouble! Well, apparently our grain cart heard about it and not to be outdone, decided to flatten its own tire on the driver’s side. Luckily we noticed this before we loaded it this afternoon, and we were able to fix the problem before it got any worse. A hole as well as a bad valve stem were the source of our difficulties but are now good as new and ready to hit the fields again!
Friday, July 5
The home base for Osowski Ag Service has now moved from Lyons to St. Francis, Kan. Last year, it seemed like we could never get ahead of the wheat. We would get to one stop and the harvest would be half done. Just when you think one year is weird, the next year comes along and proves you wrong. We arrived here on Monday late afternoon and our combine has yet to see a field. The wheat around here is not anticipated to be that great. Anyone who has been able to cut here has seen anywhere from 50s to low 20s in yield, so it is anybody’s guess how it will all pan out. Dad has an uncanny ability to find Brandon and I not-so-fun jobs to do when we aren’t harvesting so we have made sure to keep ourselves occupied. I was able to catch up with Shirley Zweygardt this afternoon at the St. Francis Equity. She has been their grain merchandiser for the past six years and has been working there for a grand total of 34 years, and I thought her insight on harvest might be of interest to you. Her job entitles her to maintain grain records, buying and selling of grain and handling the profit/loss records.
Being on harvest, I know that no two days are alike and if you ask Shirley, that is the type of response she would give you about her job as well.
“One day 30 loads will come in and the next it will be none. Sometimes it picks up at 6 p.m., so we sit around all day waiting for something to happen.”
Shirley also says they are expecting to receive only one third of the bushels that they took in from last year, which was a little over one million bushels. The drought this area has suffered is the main cause behind this. Not enough wheat has been brought in at this point to know any sort of definite yield, but test weights have been anywhere from low 50s to low 60s thus far.
Sunday, July 7
I hope everyone had a fun and safe Fourth of July! Good ol’ St. Francis had a wonderful fireworks show, so the farthest we traveled was up to the top of the hill to get a better view.
After talking to our farmer the next day, we came to learn that our wheat wouldn’t be ready to cut until late afternoon. Knowing this, we decided to take a little trip to Colby, Kan. I took this opportunity to spend part of the afternoon with another crew we are friends with, JKD Harvesting. I forgot what it was like to run with a crew with hired help! They have 11 guys, as opposed to our family crew of four, so it was definitely a change of pace. Not unlike us up in St. Francis, JKD was having a time trying to find wheat that was ready to cut. Parts of the field would be green while others are ripe and ready to be harvested. Their efforts were rewarded, though, because as I was leaving, they were gathering up the troops and getting ready to hit the field!
About 4 p.m., Osowski Ag Service could be found roading our equipment out to the field. We only had a little bit that we were going to be able to cut, but it was still something! Our yields were in the 20s, which is what our farmer expected. By the sounds of it, tomorrow and the rest of the weekend will bring the wheat around, and harvest is expected to be in full swing by early next week.
Stephanie Osowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.