Minnesota Farmer

OK, so I’ve been busy
October 7, 2011, 10:06 pm
Filed under: Corn, Fall, Farm, harvest, Minnesota, rain, spring, summer, weather, wind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s harvest time here in southwestern Minnesota and all farmers are busy.  We’ve had no rain to speak of in over two months.  The wind blows everything around.  I’m not getting enough sleep.  Hmmm….. must be why I missed a few days of postings.

So this is what I’ve been looking at for the last several days, except for when I switch off with dad to unload a few loads, or stop for a meal, or to get a few hours of sleep, if it’s daylight we’re harvesting.

So sometimes we dump into the grain cart when is not moving, and sometimes we dump into it when we are both moving.  It’s a way to get a lot done if you have enough people.  Since there are only two of us, we don’t dump on the go that often.  The grain cart does make a good way to keep one truck on the road.  The combine dumps into the grain cart when it gets full, and when the truck gets back you refill the truck.  It helps keep everyone busy.

So when both the combine and grain cart are dumping into the truck at the same time, you can really fill it up fast.

So when I’m not looking where I’m going, I will glance at the monitor to see how much crop I’m harvesting and what the moisture level of that crop is.  Now this is OLD tech, it must be almost 10 years old by now, I cannot even imagine what the new machines do.  Still it’s pretty cool to this old guy to be able to get an idea of how much you are harvesting before you haul it into town.

It’s really interesting to see the areas where the corn didn’t grow so well, the weeds just take over.  Is shows how critical early weed control is.  Once the crop is up and shading the ground the weeds don’t get growing.  Let a little sunshine in, and instant weed patch.

Sometimes the wind knocks down the corn before we get to it.  In a year like this, when the corn dried out so quickly, it can happen much more than we would like.  If you can get the snouts of the combine under it, maybe you can get it into the combine.  Many times though, the ear will drop off, or the stalk will break off, and you get nothing.  It’s a long slow process in down corn.

So this years planting started out late, we had a lot of rain for the first months of the growing season, and it was cold.  Then in a flash, it all changed to dry and hot.  Amazingly the plants still held on and managed to produce an average, to better than average crop.  Not only did a late, cold, planting season turn to hot and dry, all that heat made our harvest season early for us.  We are harvesting a dry crop and putting it right into the bin, which is very rare in my lifetime.  What a year.

So, if you don’t hear from me for a while, I’m finishing harvest.



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A farmer friend of mine from Rice County last night summarized this as the year of “toos.” First too much rain and too cold and too late getting the crop planted. Then too hot and too dry. Next a too-early frost. Even given all that, he says this year’s yields have been surprisingly good.

Comment by Minnesota Prairie Roots

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