Filed under: Ag education, agriculture, Corn, Fall, Farm, harvest, Minnesota, rain, weather | Tags: Corn, corn diseases, farm, rain
It’s been a wet year in our part of Minnesota. We have never been short of moisture at any time this year, in fact most of the year we have been wet. The rains come and do not turn off. Getting field work done has been hard. Now as the fall harvest is nearing, corn farmers are wondering is my corn maturing,
Every year as harvest nears a host of rots and diseases move into our corn stalks to start the breakdown of dying corn plants. Sometime they move in too soon and the corn dies before it matures. Then you have a mess like in the second picture above. Modern corn varieties are less susceptible to many of those diseases and rots, but when too much water kills off the corn before it matures, the rot takes over.
In about a month we will be into harvest. If too much of our corn is down and rotting, we will have reduced yields and difficult harvest conditions. Then we will know the answer to our question, is that corn crop maturing or dying?
Filed under: Farm, harvest, Trees, wood heat | Tags: farm, harvest, nature, trees
We have several places on our farms where we have lines of trees to slow wind movement across the fields. As those trees get older, branches will lean or fall into the field. Usually I just go out and take out the branches that reach the farthest into a field. This year I decided to do something a bit more drastic on our oldest tree line.
Branches can reach out into the field a long ways. This means they are sometimes brushing onto harvesting and planting equipment. The plantable area gets pushed away from the trees and the area between becomes a weed nursery.
I’ve been cutting the branches that lean into the field and harvesting the largest parts for winter’s fuel. The smaller branches are pushed into a pile and burned.
When it’s done you have a clean area right up to the trees that can be cared for more easily. The trees are also less likely to break in a wind or ice storm.
There is also more wood for the wood pile.
Filed under: cold, harvest, machines, science, solar power, winter | Tags: cold, electric production, electricity, machines, power production, science, solar power, winter
It was a bit over a month ago that I wrote about my Solar Voltaic project, well it’s now official, I’m on the grid.
Here’s a picture of the screen on one of my inverters. The numbers tell how much electricity is being produced at different intervals. The picture was taken at 5 p.m. so the sun was low and power production was declining. The graph shows the production at different hours of the day. Today’s production was much better with abundant sun than yesterday’s cloudy which still produced some power.
With only 10 hours of winter sun I do not have much opportunity to produce electricity, but the collectors work better when the days are cold. We’ll see how electric production changes with longer, warmer days. Stay tuned.
Filed under: agriculture, Corn, Farm, harvest, machines | Tags: agriculture, Corn, farm, harvest, machines
A friend of mine who has been having a lot of combine trouble called me to come help. He needed a truck driver for a day and I was glad to help. Our deliveries were to an elevator that I do not usually patronize. They were piling corn outside in a bunker. It was the method for filling the bunker that intrigued me. Yep, that’s an excavator on that pile with a large bucket to move the corn. Dump trucks and a payloader are getting the corn within reach of the excavator. Quite an operation just so they have a place for all of the corn coming in this fall. They have air tubes under the corn and a tarp to cover it. As long as the fans run the tarp will stay in place. All for a few months storage. Interesting.
Filed under: Ag education, agriculture, Farm, fertilizer, harvest, machines, repairs | Tags: Agriculture education, Corn, corn harvest, farm, harvest, machines
Now, where was I? Oh yeah! Harvest is done and things left on hold need to be done now. I know I have a pile of mail that needs to be sorted. There are a few jobs around the house that are waiting also. Fall tillage and fertilizing needs to be taken care of. I noticed a whole bunch of trees that need some trimming that lean over the field edges. There are some meetings on my schedule for the next few weeks. We still have machinery to clean up and fix up before we put them away ’til next season, but this harvest is over.
Yeah, there are augers to put away, bins to secure and a whole lot of dust to move before we can call this falls work done.
So, how did the harvest go? Very well actually.
Although the soybean harvest was disappointing, the corn harvest was not. We could have had a whole lot more corn to run through the drier than we did. Some of the corn went straight into the bin and much of what would not fit in the bin was dry enough to haul straight into town for storage. All we need now are better prices.
It’s been a long time since spring planting. This year we did not have a lot of heat, but we did have too much rain. For a while I was wondering if the crop would turn out decent at all as it sat yellow and sick looking. Todays corn hybrids are so much better than those of my youth.
Now the harvest is in and the challenge of marketing that harvest is in full swing. Corn and soybean prices have come up a ways from their lows of a few weeks ago. I know how much I must get to cover expenses, now I just have to see how much I will have to pay off loans and pay the household bills.
Winter is coming. There is much to do before the snow flies.
Filed under: Ag education, Corn, Fall, family, Farm, harvest, machines | Tags: Agriculture education, children, Corn, family, farm, harvest, machines, science
It’s harvest and we love having visitors at this time of year. Usually that means our son and his family come visit so he can help with harvest and the others can see what we are doing. Miss Purple and Miss Pink are three now and not so afraid of the machinery as they were in their younger years. We also had a visit last weekend from my sisters daughter’s families and their three-year old Miss W. Six month old Baby I stayed in the house while the others went “farming.” All the three-year olds got to ride in the combine as did many of the adults.
Miss Pink and Miss Purple really liked it when one rode with me and the other with their dad in different machines. To see the harvest process and the unloading of the combine “on-the go” was really fun for them.
While unloading on the end Miss Purple looked down at the red cobs on the ground and said, “The red ones are not ripe yet.” Wow! What a really interesting way to look at it. It really is simple three-year old logic.
Now these three-year olds know corn. They know this is not the corn you eat but the corn that goes into animal feed. They have watched the ears being stripped off of the corn stalk by the combine and seen the kernels in the hopper on the combine. I realized then that they had not seen the inside of an ear of corn. Grampy to the rescue, It’s lesson time!
My first step was to grab an ear of corn and break it in half. Then I showed them how the kernels shell off of the ears. Now they know how the process works. Of course they wanted to do some shelling themselves. Lesson learned.
There are so many things that we take for granted as “common knowledge” here on the farm, but that knowledge is not very common if you do not learn it on the farm. These three-year olds have been there and are learning so much about where food comes from. We’ve dug potatoes and picked squash and pumpkins this fall and they have their own garden in town. Still the big garden that is Grampy’s farm is full of new things to learn. I cannot wait for the next lesson.
Filed under: Farm, harvest, machines, repairs | Tags: farm, harvest, machines, oil leak, repairs
Little did I know when I stopped the combine last night that there was a little oil leak underneath on the hydraulic drive.
That meant spending a large part of the morning getting parts and fixing the leak.
At least the combine was parked in the yard. Fixing in the field is always harder.