A modern wheat harvest with old machines: this Cheyenne, OK farmer likes to take his time

Great State

CHEYENNE, Okla. (KFOR) — As happy as an Oklahoma farmer allows himself to be, this 60 acre field of winter wheat is finally dry enough to start cutting.

Dwayne Roark says it’s looking pretty good for all the months of worry since he planted last October.

“History is interesting to me,” he remarks while watching the harvest come in. “The things people used to have to work with.”

A modern combine would separate seed from chaff in 90 minutes, but Roark wanted to take his time with this patch near the house.

That’s why his grandson Gus Crawford is driving this old Farmall tractor towing an Allis -Chalmers All-Crop harvester that was brand new in 1940.

Grandad says it still cleans seed better than most modern combines.

Its cut is only 40 inches wide but Gus, at age 12, wouldn’t drive anything else.

“Allis- Chalmers started building combines sometime in late 1930s,” says Dwayne.

Gus plainly states, “You can not beat an All-Crop.”

Gus’s cousin, Lee Roark needed his dad to help him reach the pedals on his Farmall tractor.

They were towing an All-Crop from 1952 that could cut a 66 inch wide swath.

Lee couldn’t put his finger on it, nor could his great-grandad Randall Calvert, but both prefer these old machines to something newer.

“They’re pretty cool,” he says. “And they’re pretty cool because I like them.”

The Roark place had a lot of old machinery standing in the sun on a Friday afternoon.

Old harvesters that had seen their day pass at least 50 years ago- a Gleaner and a Wood Brothers Deerborn to name a few.

They all pulled up to an antique 1948 Diamond -T grain truck to take their wheat to the elevator in style.

The Roarks do this partly to educate the grand kids, but also to keep their own memories working.

“It’s kind of fun to watch them work,” says Dwayne. “To see how they work and see how well they work.”

Old harvesters make interesting lawn ornaments, but watching them perform is better still.

Dwayne was planning to have as many as eight old combines working Friday afternoon. He got four running and finished cutting his field by supper time.

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