2003 Season

Holland Harvesting – 2003 Season

We are looking forward to the 2003 harvest season.  Most of the wheat belt has been receiving beneficial moisture and acres planted are up.  Everyone is busy …

N. Texas is very still very dry and pushed along early by the drought.  The first run of 3 combines and hopper bottoms, and a tractor and cart left May 10 hopefully between the torrential rains and severe weather in the Midwest.  The rest of the equipment and crew headed south May 17 and will be cutting wheat within a few days.

Holland Harvesting - Litchfield, MN

Holland Harvesting – Litchfield, MN

Texas and Oklahoma harvest were both plagued by poor harvest weather.  It showered every few days; and although we cut almost every day, it was cool (for TX and OK), humid, and the normal frustrating wind that will blow you away just was not there.  It was entirely too pleasant weather for the 50-70 bu. wheat and heavy straw we had to cut in N. Central Oklahoma.  It was slow going with the short days we had to contend with, and about the whole state was still cutting at the same time. 

We finally made it to S. Central Kansas right on time. The wheat wasn’t as good here, and they blamed it on excess moisture after seeding, then hot and dry at pollination. Our next stop in W. Central Kansas averaged 47 bu. overall though, which is good to see after the disastrous drought last season. In NW Kansas the yield was up from last year too, but not as much. Here the crop really suffered right up until March when they started getting some much needed rains. The lagoons were wet at harvest time from heavy rains just a few days earlier. It is good to see moisture, but they are still a long way from building up any subsoil reserve. It was very hot every day here and storms would build each afternoon, but they pretty much missed us all the time.

Our 3 stops in Western Nebraska and SW South Dakota continued hot and dry.  We cut average to above average bushels with exceptional quality and acres up.  It cut fast, and everyone ran hard.  We were able to clean and wash and still give the guys a couple of days off to enjoy themselves and take in some of the attractions in the area before pulling north into SW North Dakota to start spring grain harvest.

We started in spring wheat around the first of August, which is about normal.  Although a month earlier the potential for a bumper spring grain crop was there in SW North Dakota, it turned hot and dry when the grain was filling.  It still turned out to be about an average 35-45 bu. crop though.  The first few days it was a little slow finding fit wheat (as spring grain often is), with beautiful mild days.  When it did get hot, things started ripening up, but it also triggered a thunderstorm that dropped 1/2 to 1 1/2″  of rain across the area.  They need to take moisture when they can get it here, and it will just even up the green spots so things should really roll now when it goes.  Everything is in good shape and serviced so some of the guys spent a day in Sturgis, South Dakota at the motorcycle rally.

Holland Harvesting - Litchfield, MN

2003 Season Harvest

We went from average crops in western ND to exceptional yields in eastern ND and northern Minnesota.  It ended up we cut a lot of 70+ bushel wheat in Minnesota where the fields were devastated by floods last season, then backtracked back to northeast ND for their harvest. 

Our fall crops at home suffered through 2 months of no moisture at all.  The corn still made an average to above average crop, but the beans were all hurt substantially.  The weather was good all through fall harvest, and it went FAST.  The whole season went well,  with only a few isolated storms. We had some combines that were never rained on all through wheat harvest.

Our acres were up as acres planted were up, and we were able to run pretty steady, but with reasonable length days.  Especially fall harvest was steady and easy.  We had a good bunch of guys that pretty much did get along with each other, and when they didn’t, they pretended to.  

The wheat belt is going into the 2004 season very dry in areas again.  If long term weather patterns repeat themselves, we are apt to see widespread drought all the way through 2010.  The Great Plains wheat growers had shifted more acres to corn and beans as they were receiving above normal precipitation up until the last couple years.  The rainfall now in the wheat belt is more normal, and they are going back to more wheat acres.  The 50 years or so of moisture in the Great Plains was not normal.

2003 Season – Holland Harvesting Photo Album

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