Filed under: Farm, Minnesota, spring, Trees | Tags: branches, cleanup, eyebrows and beard, farm, fire, Minnesota, spring, trees
We have a really great day here in Minnesota, temperature is in the upper 50′s with sunshine, and I have been putting it to use. Since our ice storm of a few weeks back we have had a large number of branches down in the yard. This afternoon my sweetie and I went to work on them.
Now no branch of any size comes down with out it being sized up for addition to the wood pile. I had a few that I trimmed up and added the larger parts to the stack, but not all was stackable, hence a fire was needed. Living out here on the farm I have had a lot of fires as tree branches needed to be reduced. I let the pile get nice and big and I lit it.
If your wood pile is dry branches you can start with a small pile, but wet wood needs heat to consume it, and this was wet with sap, spring time wood. I started with a pile of dry stuff on the bottom and got the wet wood heated up so it would burn, then you keep adding branches as the pile burns down. Now wet wood needs lots of encouragement to keep it gong, so you end up with lots of branches around the edges of the fire that need to be pushed into the hottest part to get them burned. It was while I was reaching down to push some sticks into the center that it happened. I got singed!
Yep, the eyebrows and beard got a little hot. Now with the eyebrows tucked under the brim of my cap I thought they would have been protected, but they really got clipped. I’m going to be living with that scorched hair smell for a bit. Oh well, that’s what you get for working on Sunday.
Filed under: church, Fall, Farm, harvest, Minnesota, repairs, Soybeans, weather, wind | Tags: farm, fire, harvest, machines, Minnesota, repairs, Soybeans, wind
I finished combining soybean field number three today, that leaves one to go. If everything hangs together we will be finished on Wednesday.
It has been quite a harvest. We started harvest on Thursday due to the unexpected arrival of our local tree service. I had called him earlier about some trees that were in the wrong place. He removed branches that were hanging over buildings and several dying trees that I did not want to tackle because of their location, trees dropped on houses and other buildings are not appreciated. We most likely got a two day late start on soybean harvest because of his arrival.
Thursday was a VERY windy day. We had sustained winds of over 30 mph with gusts exceeding 50 mph. As I am working I see what seem to be fires both east and west of me. When I checked my facebook page that night I find that two of my fb friends had fires in their fields. One fire was most likely started by spark from a combine, the other was sparked when the combine caught fire. There were so many fires in the area that all fire crews were out several times Thursday. It was not a day to fight a fire. The winds made the fire move fast, and gave plenty of air to really make for some big fires.
The newer diesel engines have extremely hot exhaust systems. They heat the exhaust up to make sure that all of the pollutants are fully burned. Unfortunately when the wind blows dry plant material onto exhaust systems that are over 1000 degrees a fire can start instantly. To see pictures of new combines turned to junk is very upsetting. These new machines can cost over $400,000. That is a very significant loss of money and harvest time.
Luckily my problems this week were smaller. That twisted piece of metal in the picture above is the divider that should keep the soybeans from messing up the end of the sickle on my combine. A 2X2 channel iron broke off right at the hinge and twisted the remaining pieces that were still holding on to the combine head. That meant that the first order of business after church this morning was to straighten and weld the pieces. By 3 we had the iron all put back into almost perfect order and could finish the field we had started Saturday.
Soybean yields have so far been better than expected. We’ll see if that translates over to the corn as well.
Tomorrow morning I make a trip to pick up parts, little things that keep breaking but do not significantly affect the performance of the combine, then we get the machine ready for the last field of soybeans. Fingers crossed, here we go.