Tuesday, August 18, 2015
This week begins the preparation of the trucks and combines for fall harvest. Brandon and John serviced three of the semis yesterday, and are working on the Vision today.
Inspecting the platforms (the part of the combine that cuts and gathers the soybeans…often called a header, too) for wear to the cutting parts, we found mostly happy news. The number of sections that will need replaced is minimal: about 5 on each platform. Probably after this harvest season, we will replace all the sections and guards on each header.
The knife in a platform works like a pair of scissors or shears. The sections move rapidly back and forth (about 540 oscillations per minute) through the guards, slicing through the crop and allowing it to fall to the wide, moving draper belts that bring the cut crop to the center of the header to be fed into the combine. The sections and guards are the parts with the highest wear on the platforms. Depending on the conditions, we can sometimes get two seasons of work from the knife, but sometimes they need replaced after one year of cutting!
The headers will come out this week to be serviced, and the combines and grain cart next week. The combines will get a light wash and inspection and any needed adjustment will be made. They were new in the summer of 2014, so they should not need much in the way of repair!
The weather today is not very summer-like, it feels more like fall. The mid-60s morning temperature and the fog make you think that summer is past. We’ve received about .8″ (21mm) rain over the last two days. We got that amount on Sunday evening on about half the farm locations, and then yesterday the same amount on the other half! We’re grateful for this rain. It will help ‘finish off’ the corn and fill the pods of the soybeans.
Rain is predicted for tomorrow, more widespread and not as spotty as the past couple of days. Then, for Thursday, a high temperature of 78ºF (26C) is predicted! Oh, how nice!
I called the “holey moley” number yesterday to get prepared for some digging work that needs to be done at the entrance to the big field at the Steen farm. The entrance has a culvert pipe that has become plugged with some sediment on the outlet end, and so we’ll open it up to allow the water to flow through. Looks like that can happen on Thursday or Friday. We’ll use our own backhoe for that small task. Maybe even some hand shovel work will be involved!
We are inching toward harvest. You can begin to see the faintest hint of a change of color in the earliest-planted corn and soybeans.