Minnesota Farmer


Harvest complete
October 21, 2016, 6:11 pm
Filed under: children, Corn, Fall, family, Farm, farm life, grandchildren, machines, Soybeans | Tags:

img_0013There it sits all quiet.  The machinery that was busy for the last few weeks is silent.

img_0009The dryer that was so busy and noisy is now silent.  The bins are full and the clean up has begun.  Harvest is over.

It was a good harvest.  Corn yields were at least 10% over last years record crop, soybeans yielded 25% over last years record crop.  It was a very good year.

img_0014As usual we had granddaughters and friends over to help with the harvest.  Everyone loves being in the big machines at harvest.

img_0004

We also had their help when we harvest the pumpkins from the garden, What a haul!

Hope your harvest season went well!  Now for cleanup and tillage, then we start getting ready for next year.



Tree line trim
April 26, 2015, 2:36 pm
Filed under: Farm, harvest, Trees, wood heat | Tags: , , ,

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.

100_3114

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.

100_3115

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.

100_3116

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.

100_3113

There is also more wood for the wood pile.



Piled higher and deeper
November 1, 2014, 6:32 am
Filed under: agriculture, Corn, Farm, harvest, machines | Tags: , , , ,

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. image Yep, that’s an excavator on that pile with a large bucket to move the corn. image 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.



Harvest 2014 Done

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.

image

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.

100_2489

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.

100_2696

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.



Three year old harvest logic
October 23, 2014, 7:38 pm
Filed under: Ag education, Corn, Fall, family, Farm, harvest, machines | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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.

photo-9

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.

100_3055Now 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!

100_3056

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.



Little leak
October 22, 2014, 12:06 pm
Filed under: Farm, harvest, machines, repairs | Tags: , , , ,

Little did I know when I stopped the combine last night that there was a little oil leak underneath on the hydraulic drive.

100_3052

That little leak left a big oil puddle where the machine had been parked.100_3054

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.



The dust of a million combines
October 18, 2014, 8:28 pm
Filed under: agriculture, combines, Corn, dust, harvest, trucks | Tags: , , , , ,

The dust of a million combines fills the air during harvest season.  More dust rises behind trucks scurrying from field to bin site where the grain will be stored.  With little wind today it hung in the air for quite a while before settling back to earth.

image image

Corn driers howl as they remove moisture so the grain can be safely stored.

Augers rattle as grain is moved from trucks to bins.

image

Every step adds more dust to the air.  Dust is a fact of harvest.