Minnesota Farmer

Under the harvest moon

We finished work tonight under a very bright harvest moon.  Full moon will be Wed. the 12th.  It was really easy to walk out in the field it was so bright.

We did get a little rain today, but it did not slow us down much.  We took a break for lunch and when the rain quit, we were back at it.

Another day of harvest, another bin full.  We’ve moved over to my place to harvest the corn there.  I don’t have much storage here so most of it will be trucked to my dad’s place.  Since the corn is so dry we are putting it right into the bin.  The process goes something like this.

The ears of corn are stripped from the stalks and processed inside our IH 2166.  The kernels of corn are separated from the cob and husk.  The cob and husk go out the back to become mulch for next years crop, the kernels go into the hopper for later transport.

The corn is transferred to the grain cart where it is moved to the next step.  Since the grain cart is pulled through the field with a tractor, it can go places that a truck has trouble.  In this dry year, we just use it to speed up harvest.  The combine never stops.  It harvests and unloads at the same time.  The tractor and grain cart take the corn to a waiting truck or wagon.

Since we are so close to the field, we just park a gravity wagon by the auger in the yard and dump into that.  This only works with fields near the bins.  It really speeds up harvest.  The gravity wagon meters the corn out into the auger while the driver heads out to get another load.  When he gets back the load is already in the bin.  In this case we are putting the corn into a Harvestor silo that has been converted for dry corn storage.

Here’s the view of the process from the top of the silo.  We only have one auger that can make it to the top of the silo.  It has to be extended to its full height to make it.

You can see the field we are harvesting from the top of the silo.  It’s just the other side of those trees.  In this picture the field is about half done.

I’ve been really pleased with the yield on this field.  It beats the next best field harvested so far by 20 bushels.  The fact that this field has no sandy spots and no spots where water could sit did help it out.  It is also a field that was soybeans last year, so we used a planting and fertilizing method called strip till.  In strip till you put most of the fertilizer in a narrow band under where you plan to plant the corn crop.  The rest of the field is left undisturbed.  That means that all of the plant material from the last crop is on top of the soil to protect it from rain, wind and heat.  We did harvest part of another strip till field but that has sandy soil in several places.  It also had some wet spots that didn’t dry well.

Well, it’s getting late.  Early alarm clock tomorrow again.  Best get some sleep.



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