Today’s harvest blogger is Troy Crawford, Case IH Combine Product Specialist for the Western states — California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona and Nevada. He has served Case IH customers in this role for the last year and a half, assisting them with the harvest of all the various crops that are grown in that area. Crawford grew up helping out on his uncles’ cattle ranch and wheat farm in Idaho, started as an office manager moving into sales and management at a Case IH dealership before taking his current position with Case IH.
Harvest starts early and lasts six months in my territory. My territory also includes a wide variety of terrain, with elevations varying from 200 feet to 6,000 feet.
How does terrain affect harvest in your area?
The wheat and barley harvest in Arizona kicked things off back in April. Many farmers irrigate there, and they saw an average yield of 150 bushels/acre.
Oregon offers a large variety of crops with grass seed starting the end of June, white clover, radish seed and many other specialty seeds in July, red clover in September and ending with corn in October.
July started bluegrass seed harvest in Washington state, followed by wheat and some barley. In that state, growers are currently harvesting lentils, peas and beans, and should wrap up in a couple of weeks. Most yields are good this year, with Mother Nature providing moisture at the right time during the growing season.
Rice harvest begins in California this week and will continue for 30-45 days. Because it’s been extremely dry, farmers were able to plant two weeks early, so that’s how early harvest is running. Producers in that area are expecting a good harvest, and overall, the mood is pretty positive.
Contrast that to just a couple of weeks ago. Washington and Idaho growers were held up harvesting a few days due to record rainfall in some areas, which slowed everyone down. Luckily, most areas only saw rain and not much hail, and we did not see much head loss — just a lot of rain.
Around Oct. 1, corn harvest starts in Oregon, Arizona and Washington, along with harvesting pinto beans in Arizona, and in mid-October/ mid-November, Idaho will follow harvesting seed corn.
In my territory, there are several large farmers with thousands of acres in wheat, barley, potatoes, beets and beans. Working with producers this year, their harvest experience has been good. Once the Axial-Flow® combines are set, they can make a quick job of going through the field, and growers are very satisfied. The new 2014 Case IH 3152 and 3162 combine draper heads have been working very well, and have been well received by farmers in my region.