Minnesota Farmer


One to go
October 2, 2011, 9:24 pm
Filed under: church, Fall, Farm, harvest, Minnesota, repairs, Soybeans, weather, wind | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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.

Michael

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1 Comment so far
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I heard about the “Red Flag Warning” for fire danger in southwestern Minnesota last night on the news. Had not heard that term prior to then.

I appreciate your first-hand report on the dangerously dry conditions and what that means for farmers working in the fields.

Comment by Minnesota Prairie Roots




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