Harvest Time on the Farm

I sit here Saturday evening after a very busy harvest week.  The weather has cooperated, there’s been no significant equipment breakdowns or other problems, and a lot of corn and soybeans got harvested this week both on our farm and in the community.  It will be nice to take a day of rest tomorrow before hitting it hard again Monday morning

To those that may be unfamiliar with the harvest time schedule on many grain farms, it’s basically this:  Sleep only when you have to, otherwise work.  The fruit of an entire season of labor is standing in the field, at the mercy of a merciless mother nature.  And the only way to get the crop safely stored away is to run the combine, as long and as hard as you can.

Through the truck windshield photo of a neighbor's combine

We started the week with corn harvest.  The soybeans were not quite dry enough, so we worked on corn.  Corn harvest is a very busy time.  We are thankful for good yields in our area, and that makes it a challenge to keep the grain hauled away fast enough from the combine to keep it moving.  We store part of the crop we raise, and we deliver part of it at harvest to those that will use the crop for ethanol, animal feed, or food products.  There’s the constant question of balancing taking it a little further and getting paid fairly well for the trucking, vs. dumping it at our local elevator for convenience and time savings.  We do some of both.

Once we switched to soybeans mid-week, the pace slowed considerably.  The combine was just as active, but soybean harvest requires one combine operator and one part-time truck driver, vs. a minimum of three full time people for corn harvest.  We even had time to process and sort a batch of cattle and ready them for their final feeding period.   Tonight, we finished a field and it’s too late to start another one, so while Marci and the kids are visiting some distant family that is in the area, I thought I’d share some harvest thoughts before they get home.

PS.  The combine in the photo is not mine.  It belongs to a neighbor (taken about a mile from my house).  The older I get, the more interested I am in having a combine like that though…


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