Purchase photos

Farmer takes it all in stride





CEDAR BLUFF RESERVOIR -- As he stair-stepped his combine down a series of terraces in a wheat field, Mark Fabrizius had to pull off and rescue a bent piece of sheet metal from his John Deere combine.

After his day as combine operator and truck driver, he planned to move into sheet metal repair, smoothing out the bent, twisted piece of metal.

"Just getting started," Fabrizius said of the 2013 wheat harvest. "Very first load."

Almost as an afterthought, he said the wheat had been hailed earlier.

"It's fair wheat," he said soon after dumping a bin full of wheat into a waiting truck.

"With the drought and everything we'll be happy with what we get," Fabrizius said.

Combines were rolling all around the area where he was cutting.

"I checked this on Friday and thought it was ready," he said of being dry enough to fire up the combine and start cutting.

"Then I took my granddad's advice and went fishing for two days."

He knew it would be ready then.