It’s mid July and combines, grain carts and campers are loaded up on semis and heading out.
It’s been a long, long harvest. But on Tuesday afternoon, Hamilton County’s harvest is 80 to 90% completed. It is likely a hard push is coming and by Friday people should be finished.
However at the time the newspaper went to press there were strong chances of thunderstorms on Wednesday evening possibly delaying the last of the fields to be cut.
The weather delays slowed the normally bustling harvest down and may have prevented accidents.
Farmer Mark Schwerdfeger said, “The machinery has been getting serviced better than any other harvest since we have so much wait times in the mornings!”
And thankfully the county had wheat to cut. There have been years when combines never rolled out.
Skyland Grain’s Regional Manager Justin Scott said, “In general test weights are about average. We have taken more wheat in than expected on bushels.”
The humid weather, cooler temperatures, rain and hail storms slowed harvest to a crawl at times.
Derek Spears of Scoular said, “We should be finished in the next three to four days. It was definitely an abnormal harvest. Rain kept delaying it. In early May the wheat looked tough. Some zeroed out. But the rains came in and probably saved producers 10 bushel/acre.
We saw below average test weights due to the moisture. We had started with high quality and then the rains hurt the test weight.
But with these rains, we are excited for the fall crops.”
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Dale Lee Simmons passed away on July 30, 2022, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the age of 81. He was born on February 23, 1941, in Pratt, Kansas, to John and Theda (Carr) Simmons.
Dale grew up in Pratt, Kansas until he was seven years old. The family then moved to Hartman, Colorado,where he played basketball for the Hartman Bears. Dale graduated with the class of 1959, the last class to graduate from Hartman. He was united in marriage to Frances Leah Dennis on August 30, 1959. To this union, four children were born.
When Dale was only seven years old, he began driving a tractor. After his father’s death, Dale took over the family farm at the age of 15. He farmed until partially retiring in 2017. Dale continued to swath hay and operate a grain cart until his passing. Dale served on the Fire and Ambulance Board, Hartman Town Council, and as mayor for several years.
Dale is survived by his wife, Frances Simmons of the home; four children, Denise (Bob) Fazzino of Canon City, Colorado, Dennis (Jackie) Simmons of Hartman, Colorado, Dean (Jessie) Simmons of Hartman, Colorado, and Donna (David) Woodward of Port Orchard, Washington; eight grandchildren, Melissa Swope Woodward, Jeremy (Lindsey) Woodward, Dustin (Grace) Simmons, Kayla (Jason) Kirkpatrick, Dawn (Sean) Kelley, Sean (Krissy) Woodward, Gayle (Clay) Tatum, and Erin (Burley) Jerina; 18 great grandchildren; brother, Robert (Mary Rita) Simmons of Lamar, Colorado; sister, Ginger (Andy) Pittman of Arkansas; many other relatives and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Karen Cook; and stepfather, Herschel Melton.
Memorial contributions may be made to Holly Fire and Ambulance or the Town of Hartman in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, Colorado 81052. To leave online condolences, please visit www.valleymemorialfc.com.
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