Monday, November 25, 2013
We have been sending many loads of corn to market this month. The corn is emptied from each storage bin by an auger under the floor. It pulls the corn from a ‘well’ in the center of the bin. As the corn drains down, eventually it stops running, and leaves a funnel-shaped pile of corn around the well. To empty the bin completely, we carry in a ‘sweep auger’, that moves the remaining corn to the well. This also requires some hand work, walking behind the sweep auger, scooping up the 1-5″ of corn left as the sweep slowly works its way around the bin. Lastly, we use a broom to sweep the bin floor clean.
In order to get the corn from storage to the trucks, it has to be moved by auger and elevator to one of our two load-out bins. The storage bins have a closed-system of augers that move the grain from the bins to one of the bucket elevators. These elevators lift the grain about 100 feet. At the top of each elevator, there is a distributor, that we use to direct the grain to the proper downspout– either to the dryer, to storage, or to the load-outs. The load-out bins have self-cleaning (mostly) hopper bottoms. The trucks drive underneath the load-outs, and by opening a spout or gate, the grain falls directly into the trucks.
As grain is being moved from storage bins to the overhead load-out bins, we try to run corn out of every bin in sequence, about a truck-load at a time. In that way, we keep a monitor on the quality of the corn in every bin. As part of that process, the smaller bins (of course) run empty first. Last Saturday, the young guys, Brandon and Nick, came in and swept out our bin #9. This was our first one to run dry or become M.T. (empty) for this 2013 harvest. All our storage bins were filled with this harvest– quite a contrast to ’12, when many of the bins were MT right after harvest! It’s feels good to get one cleaned out, but it will be many weeks before the last one will be MT! There are lots of truckloads still to go. What a blessing to have busy trucks in the winter.
Speaking of winter, it’s pretty cold here. Nights in the high teens and days in the 20s. I really don’t mind temperatures of 20ºF. If the wind is calm, it’s not bad to be out on a 20º day, but if the wind is strong, watch out! It cuts right through you, chilling you to the bones. Today, the wind is calm, so… not bad!
Have a great week.