This spring has been a blur of activity for the Jones family on their farm near Greenfield in Adair County. Like most Iowa farmers, they hustled to plant corn as soon as their fields were dry and ready, then followed up with soybeans. At the same time, they worked through calving season, caring for their cows and making sure the new calves got off to a good start.

But with their corn barely emerged, their soybeans just starting to poke through the ground and a few cows still left to calve on their southwest Iowa farm, the Joneses are preparing for many more long and hectic days beginning around the middle of June. That’s when they’ll start their annual trek, south to north across the Great Plains, custom harvesting wheat for farmers.

The Joneses won’t stop until late August when they finish off their last job in North Dakota and head home. They’ll arrive back to Iowa just in time to harvest their own soybean and corn fields and some fields for neighbors.

The Joneses have made this multi-state summer harvesting odyssey for more...