I-80 Harvest Tour: Reaping Rewards Under a Nebraska Full Moon

I80 Harvest Tour Nebraska 100720

The National Weather Service says Omaha had the third driest August on record with less than a half inch of rain recorded. That's the third driest in 149 years of records. 

In this week’s I-80 Harvest Tour, AgDay national reporter, Betsy Jibben, heads just an hour west in Nebraska as two brothers harvest soybeans at twilight. 

Music is going strong. It’s a way to stay up for a harvest going well into the night. 

“Oh, we’ll probably go until 10 o’clock,” says Bryon Chvatal as he walks in a field near Malmo, Nebraska. “The dew starts setting in and the wind starts dying down.”

 With his brother Eric in the cab, Bryon Chvatal will soon shift over to the grain cart once they arrive at their Malmo, Nebraska field. 

“It’s been a fast start of a harvest where we’ve been just harvesting every day since we started,” says Bryon Chvatal. 

They are shifting, moving and working to keep momentum as daylight is quickly robbed. It’s soon replaced by their own glow. They have some passes to complete on this dryland field before the trucks arrive. 

“We’re trying to get a couple of trucks full for going to town in the morning,” says Eric Chvatal, Bryon’s brother.

Eric is watching, seeing how these soybeans handled a lack of rain. However, the area received more precipitation than most. 

“Most of the stuff we’ve been into has [an average yield] in the 50s and 60s [bushels per acre] for dryland,” says Eric Chvatal as he drives the combine. “This stuff right now, this is probably some of our worst stuff here. [The field] is further South than some [of our other] farm ground. This [yield] is a little bit less. We’re running right now in the 40s [for an average BPA].” 

As darkness surrounds them, the crew finishes.

“It’s fellowship with my family and neighbors,” says Bryon Chvatal. 

It’s time together, staying up with family and neighbors and a way to reap rewards of hard work.
“It’s rewarding, it’s fun, it’s tiring [and] it’s stressful,” says Bryon Chvatal. “[It’s] a little bit of everything, but it’s farming.” 

Add in a country view. A little music to stay awake doesn’t hurt anyone either. 

Chvatal says the majority of his crop is dryland. He plans to start corn harvest this week.