Zeorian Harvesting Ready to Get 2015 Wheat Harvest Underway in OklahomaMon, 15 Jun 2015 19:41:27 CDT
Wheat harvest has been slow to start for the Zeorian family of Manley, Nebraska. The family custom harvesting crew made their way to Oklahoma last week. The first stop of their annual harvesting route is near Shattuck, Oklahoma, but they haven't been able to cut any wheat due to the latest stretch of showers and thunderstorms. The family is well-known for documenting the wheat harvest since 2009 through the High Plains Journal's All Aboard Wheat Harvest Blog. For the third year, Taylor Zeorian is sharing what life is like a custom cutter.
"I think the best thing about writing for this blog is that I can show people who don't know what our lifestyle is, what itís all about and what we do for the country, how we ....we play our small part in feeding the world," Zeorian said.
Their family operates one combine and two trucks. The harvest crew consists of parents Jim and Tracy and two of their daughters Taylor and Callie. The girls have traveled and worked with their parents on a custom harvest crew for much of their life. Last year, Taylor's blog focused on the drought as their harvest run was substantially shorter due to the lack of wheat to be cut in the southern plains, so far this year it's been all about rain.
"Coming out this summer, it feels a little more normal, but it's still late and itís droughted and we still haven't gotten into the field yet," she said.
Last year the Zeorian's skipped coming to Oklahoma due to the lack of wheat to be cut. In looking at this year's crop, Zeorian said you can tell the ongoing drought effected the crop in western Oklahoma.
"Where we are at, the wheat looks pretty poor, at the poorest 15 to 20 bushels an acre, on the better side, we're looking at maybe 30," Zeorian said. "The wheat looks really light, it's not going to do very well, but itís not zeroed out and that's all that matters."
The heavy rains has the wheat crop too wet to be harvested. With a lot of standing water, their family's biggest concern is getting their combine stuck, so they will wait for warmer weather. As equipment sits idle for another day, the pressure on the family builds. The Zeorian's next job is in Garden City, Kansas and they know that crop will be ready to be harvested very quickly, but they need to get this harvest job in Shattuck complete, before they can continue north. She said each day becomes more stressful for their family in knowing what's at stake for them as well as for the farmers that they work for.
"It definitely takes a toll on the crew, I mean you can feel it through the whole family," she said.
This provides the Zeorian family with bonding time in their travel trailer, in watching movies, playing games and praying helps too. This also gives Taylor time to write for the All Aboard wheat harvest blog, which has given her a platform to be an advocate for agriculture.
"This is just what we do, it's our part in agriculture and so I have to push my pro-wheat attitude as much as I possibly can and this helps me do it," Zeorian said.
In taking advantage of the wet weather Monday, Taylor along with her younger sister Callie and their mother Tracy came to Oklahoma City. While their father Jim stayed back at the farm, they came to tour the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum and they also stopped by Radio Oklahoma Network studio, where Leslie Smith gave them tour of News 9 and caught up with them about this year's wheat harvest.
You can follow Taylor Zeorian and the entire Z-Crew through their blog, by clicking here.
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