2004 Season

Holland Harvesting – 2004 Season

We are heading into the 2004 season under unsettling conditions.  Fuel, insurance and steel prices just keep going up, while commodity prices fluctuate wildly.  Parts of the wheat belt remain disastrously dry, but any scattered precipitation drives the market down.  Our crew is very enthusiastic and have worked well setting up and getting equipment ready, taking tests and preparing for what’s to come.  Everyone is looking forward to a productive harvest season.

Holland Harvesting

2004 Harvest Season

Even with all the uncertain crop conditions, we pulled off one of our best winter wheat runs yet.  We started off with good weather and wheat in Texas.  We cut steady and didn’t get stormed out at all until we were down to 60 acres left, and it still never rained too much.  The weather continued good, not too hot and dry, and we just kept cutting and moving on all along.  Some of our machines have yet to get 1/2 inch of rain on them.  We feel very fortunate as many crews sat in a lot of rain.  Although most of western Kansas was hurt by drought or frost and we lost 2 stops, we made up for them with some other work that went well.  We ran steady throughout the winter wheat belt, and the last of it in central S.D. actually made 60-90 bushels!  Our spring wheat run is getting started in the same location July 28  with 60 bushel yields also.

Our spring wheat cut got off to a good start with a good cut in South Dakota, then better than expected yields and acres in SW North Dakota, and a really good run in Montana.  All the rain was pretty much staying east of us, and we cut exceptional yields and acres, even with the still unusually cool, but very pleasant conditions.  It was 68 degrees one day when that day a year ago it had been 103 degrees!

Holland Harvesting

Holland Harvesting

Our last wheat, barley and canola in NE North Dakota and Minnesota is very late because of the cool, wet season though.  We got moved east and ran a couple days until a wet system moved in.  It was OK for a couple of days now as the grain here was just barely getting fit with very green straw, and everyone needed a break. The trucks needed to be gone through, and they had time to re-chain all the combines to get ready for fall harvest. 

Fortunately, it was also during “Big Iron”, the large farm show at Fargo, so once again Rob took all the guys to it for one long day as they stayed for the tractor pull and had a 3 hour drive each way.

Now we are pressed to finish up wheat harvest and start in soybeans in Minnesota and South Dakota, then North Dakota.  We will run 8-9 machines for fall harvest.  Fortunately none of our soybeans were lost to the widespread frost the 3rd week in August.  Three of our new ’05 combines are already here, so we can run a couple of them rather than renting additional machines to get the bulk of the soybeans off as we have done other years.  We always try to do the best job possible and are investing in air reels on our 1020 flex heads as the soybeans in South Dakota are very short, as they often are.

We had decent fall harvest weather, just on the cool side and not much sun for weeks at a time.  The corn was wet all across the country and did not dry down well so it was on the late side.  But that was OK as it gave us time to run hard in the soybeans.  The air reels we put on the flex heads worked well as far as what they do in the field.  It is realistic to agree with the company that they can save 1-5 bu. per acre and we will definitely run them again next season.  We are also considering Drago corn heads next year as the trial bu. per acre saved results look worthwhile.

Two combine’s with tracks cut beans out in W. Minnesota right through Thanksgiving, enjoying dinner with the farmer that day.  It was unusually wet in this area and impossible to run a normal fall harvest without being able to handle extreme conditions.  Luckily, the first week in December was warmer than normal as there was a lot to be done to get everything home and settled for winter.  Thanks to the guys that were willing to stick it out and see things through to the end.  The entire crew maintained an exceptional attitude throughout the excessively long season.

2004 Season – Holland Harvesting Photo Album

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