Osowski crew headed northward
By Stephanie Osowski
Thursday, June 19
Our first stop in Hobart, Oklahoma, has come to an end. Leaving Hobart is almost like leaving home. Mom and I were put on bill-pay duty. Since we have been harvesting in Hobart for over 20 years, we have gotten to know people and feel very welcomed. A chit-chat here and a chit-chat there, and next thing you know half the day is shot! Dad had to call us numerous times to keep us on task, not that it helped much. Farmer Mike’s wife, Allison, owns the cutest little boutique in downtown Hobart, and of course we had to shop and say goodbye to her before we left, too. We finally rolled on out of town around 2 p.m.
The trip to Jet was quick and painless, only lasting around four hours. We arrived Monday, got unloaded, and were still able to get some cutting in before the wheat got tough. Tuesday morning, we were able to get started right away thanks to the blustery wind that was howling across the county. The wind and I had an interesting relationship throughout the day. Between the adorable hairstyles it was giving me to causing my truck tarp to have a mind of its own, I was thankful when it finally died down toward evening.
The trip to the elevator in Helena is one that could probably drive blindfolded. I know every dip, bump, crack, slope and curve. For instance, on the second curve that leads into town, I know that about three quarters of the way through, the curve abruptly flattens out, which in my early truck driving years always alarmed me. Now I think it’s fun to drive on. Test weights have been in the high 50s with moisture between 11 percent and 13 percent.
Quote of the day—“I wish I could cash in on all the naps I didn’t wanna take as a child.”
Harvest tip—Always maintain a good relationship with your local co-op.
Friday, June 20
The song “The Wind” by the Zac Brown Band came on the radio this afternoon on one of my elevator trips. It’s a catchy little tune but on days like the ones we have had, it is a friendly reminder that the wind will indeed blow, and there is nothing that can be done about it. On the bright side, with this intense heat and humidity, lack of wind would make the days unbearable. I like to think my arms muscles will benefit from it since I have to work that much harder to tarp and un-tarp my truck. Also, the wind blowing the humidity around is how we are able to combine each day! We have seen tests weights in the low 60s with moisture staying the same, around 11 percent.
Big Purple had a slow leak in her tire that got fixed today. We were happy to find that it was simply a bad valve stem and not a hole in the tire. Thanks to the friendly help at the co-op in Jet, she is has a new valve stem and is back to roam the roads.
When there are any type of storms in the forecast, the rest of the family always knows that I will be the first one up. They will find me on the couch in the living room of the camper, TV on with the radar flashing. I am often on double alert and checking the weather app on my iPhone as well. Dad told me that there was thunder, lightning and some rainfall around 5 a.m. this morning, and I didn’t stir one bit. I am going to consider this a tiny victory. However, it also means we won’t be hitting the fields till mid-afternoon on account of the rainfall and humidity.
Quote of the day—“Every kernel counts!”
Harvest tip—Check tires periodically throughout the day. Blowing a tire on the highway isn’t in my top-five list of favorite harvest activities.
Sunday, June 22
I feel as if humidity has been a frequent topic in my recent posts, but that is because it is something that we simply cannot get over. It directly affects how our combine runs, our exhaustion levels, and how the wheat behaves when going through the machine.
The night before last, we had 90 percent humidity at 10:39 p.m. What kind of nonsense is this? We have this kind of humidity at home, but it is certainly something we haven’t had to worry about down here. Because of this, Dad “mysteriously” goes missing in the afternoons sometimes to sneak in a nap. Brandon and I let it slide for now since we can keep up with one truck driver for our combine. On my last ticket from the elevator, the test weight was 61 pounds with moisture at 12 percent. The yield is only showing 18 bushels per acre, but that test weight is definitely something we like to see!
We are in our final acres here in Jet and will be moving onto our third stop on the trail in the next couple days: Lyons, Kansas. Summer is flying by. Going to our third stop means we will be halfway through our harvest run! Someone slow it down, please.
Quote of the day—“How does it look from the road?” We have been saying this since harvest started, but when it was said earlier it just hit me that it needed to be put in here. A way that we all dictate how a field will yield is by driving by and looking at it. However, we have found that this summer, looks can be very deceiving. Some of the worst fields have turned out to have the highest yield, if not a solid test weight.
Stephanie Osowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.