Friday, September 20, 2013 4pm
An off-and-on rain has stopped our harvesting work. There have been moments of a hard rain, followed by some dry times, interspersed with drizzly periods. Sometimes it feels like we’re in the great Northwest. We moved this morning from the home farm to the ‘two hills’, and got one of those fields done, the second one was where we were working when the rain started.
The combines are now home, in the shed.
It has been an expensive week, repair-wise. We had to replace one of the great big tires on the grain cart… it had developed a grapefruit-sized defect on the sidewall. Between the two of us, Ross and I have damaged 5 corn head snouts (Dennis leads the count, 3-2). Just this afternoon, we had to replace a tire on one of the trucks’ trailers. We had visits from both the Case-IH and JD service departments. Let’s hope that next week, we won’t have such expense for repairs.
We have been pleasantly surprised with the yield of the corn. We did not know exactly what to expect, but the results are above average, near the top of all-time results. It just feels better when you can harvest a good crop. The moisture levels are higher than we’d prefer, running 24-28%. Ideally, the moisture would be 22% or less, but we feel compelled to bring corn in anyway, in order to be prepared for planting the 2014 wheat crop. Typically we begin planting wheat on the 25th of September… but we may not be quite ready when that date arrives next week.
The grain dryer has been working non-stop since Monday. The high moisture levels require more time to dry to the required 15%. John has been very occupied with monitoring the work of the dryer. It is made more difficult because the moisture levels are not consistent, varying from 24-29%. It is more tedious to get the grain to come out at a consistent 15%. He has had extra challenges– the remote monitoring connection across the internet required a service call by our internet provider. The top chamber heating unit needed some serviceman attention–now it’s heating up sufficiently again. And we have had some electrical service split-second interruptions that cause a dryer shut-down (one of those at 2 am!) The dryer notifies Ross and John with a text message when it shuts down like that.
The field progress seems a bit slower than customary for us, because of the good yields, it requires more frequent unloading of the combines. The grain cart driver is ‘overbooked’! We are not covering as many acres in a day , but we are bringing in more bushels. This is such a contrast to last fall’s results. So, we are counting our blessings because of the corn crop.
Have a good weekend.