Minnesota Farmer

30 days: cleaning up after the harvest
November 2, 2013, 7:56 am
Filed under: Farm, grain storage, harvest, repairs | Tags: , , , , ,

Every job seems to have an even dirtier one after the job is done, the clean up.  Part of the after the harvest activity that is far from fun, but very necessary is cleaning up. Here’s a job I wish I had taken more pictures of, but when you are covered in dirt and dust, a camera is far from your thoughts.  Sometimes the job is just dirty, and other times it is really dirty.

imagesLook at that beautiful machine harvesting the crops.  Looks pretty nice, but remove the outside metal and yuck!

There, that looks better!

Every little crack and crevice , every spot that dust and debris can sit, it will.  Our harvester needs to have all of the shields that hide the working parts removed and the junk must be removed.  Usually this is done with a high pressure air hose, but sometimes you just have to get in there and dig the junk out.  When you are done the clothing is headed for the wash and you for the shower!

Why the clean up?  One reason is fire.  Junk left in out-of-the-way places can allow sparks to accumulate and fires to start-up long after the machine is turned off.  Another reason is to reduce hiding places for mice and birds.  Bits of grain encourage vermin to stay and while they are there, they will chew on wires and hoses which can mean trouble next year.  The last reason is that it allows you to check for possible repairs that need to be done.  There is nothing like a good cleaning to bring to light those “about to wear out” parts.

100_2495Also on the clean up list are the areas that we may have spilled grain during harvest.  We do lay down tarps to try to catch most of that spilled grain, but there are areas it gets to that must be searched out and cleaned up.  All of the roof hatches must be secured to keep out rain and birds.100_2492Then there is the grain drier.  Chaff on the outside of the machine may blow off in the wind, but there are hidden places that need to be cleaned.  Usually I get into shielded areas before harvest to remove bird nests that have accumulated in the most out-of-the-way places, but this year I missed one.  That nest was inside an auger and it fell down into the drier and partially covered up a grain discharge.  Then there was the rain that fell during harvest that caused some wet grain to accumulate in the bottom of the drier.  All of that had to be searched out and removed.

Once it is clean, machinery that is mobile can be put away.  Our sheds have room for our most vital and expensive machinery, but some large items, like augers, are just lined up outside.  It will be almost a year before we will need these items and they need protection until we bring them out again.

Now that the machines are clean, I need to clean up.




1 Comment so far
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So glad you decided to do 30 days with us! Great topic too!

Comment by Janice Person aka JPlovesCOTTON

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