A good week behind, an uncertain week ahead.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Last week was a pretty productive week of harvest here at Carnahan & Sons.  We went to the corn field down at our ‘Freddie’ farm on Monday.  We worked diligently there for Monday and Tuesday… and got all that corn harvested.  It is our largest single field, and the farthest away from home base… 13 miles of Knox County roads.  It takes a while for the trucks to make the round trip.  During those two days, we were able to send a few loads directly from the Freddie field to GPC in Washington, when it happened that the appointments coincided with the loads.  That helped speed the trucking, for that field is closer to GPC than to home base.  There remains only one field of corn to harvest.

Wednesday, we switched over to soybeans.  We used Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and most of Saturday for soybean harvest…until the rain drove us from the field.  We were able to complete the harvest of the regular-crop soybeans by Saturday afternoon.  That means that all our crops in the White River bottom fields are done!  So, no more crops in danger from flooding!

This was the view of the final pass of regular- season soybeans from Saturday afternoon.

 

Thursday, while working at the Nellie field near White River, the combine picked up this chunk of wood that had drifted in with the July flooding. This one broke the drive belt on the feed accelerator at the top of the ‘throat’ of the combine, under the cab.

Saturday afternoon, we moved to the DCB (double-crop soybeans) fields near Wheatland, but we only had about a half-hour of cutting before the rain set in.   We loaded our headers on the carriers and moved the combines home.  We got more rain in the wee hours of Sunday and Monday mornings, totaling over 1.2″ (31mm).  We think we will return to that final field of corn harvest tomorrow, although that field will be a bit wetter than we’d like.  It is something we can do, for we see the forecast of more rain on Thursday and Friday.  It would be good to finish off the corn for 2021.

Here, we are leaving a DCB field near Wheatland after the Saturday rain stopped the harvest.

Yesterday was a busy shop day.  We changed the engine oil in both combines, and lubricated them.  We did a repair on the spill saver on the end of the JD S780 combine unloading auger.  Then, in the late afternoon and evening, we replaced the back rockshaft of our old JD 1560 NT drill.  The rockshaft is a 4″ square steel tube, 15 feet long, on which 12 row units pivot up for transport, and down for planting.   That job was a hard one.  We had to remove the row units, which were heavy and awkward to handle.  Then the old, broken rockshaft had to be dropped out.  The new one was lifted into place and fastened in the end and center carrier bearings.  The actuating hydraulic lift cylinder was installed.  Then, the 12 row units were re-attached.  Whew!  Of course, John and Brandon did the most, especially the heavy lifting, but I was under there too, working the Milwaukee battery-powered wrench!  I gotta admit to being a bit sore today!   But it felt good to get that old drill in working order again.  I’ll use it again as soon as field conditions allow to plant some rye over some recent conservation repairs done by Mr. Worland and his bulldozer.  The rye that was planted with this drill a couple weeks ago is now beginning to emerge.

The JD S780 is in the shop for an oil change and some minor repairs.

Here we have the row units removed from the back rockshaft of this JD 1560 drill.

..and here we have everything put back together again!

So, back to corn tomorrow.  It will be less than ideal, but we will push ahead to try to finish off the harvest of of 2021 corn.

Back at home, we have surely missed the songbirds all year.  There was some kind of disease that decimated the bird population in southern Indiana this summer, but they are now slowly making a comeback.  It’s nice to see and hear the birds again in our backyard.  And, best of all, our favorite, Mr. Cardinal has returned!

It’s a treat to see this Cardinal show up at Pat’s bird feeders!

Yes, the rainy October has presented some challenges to #harvest21.  But we must remember the good things, too.   Both corn and soybean yields have been very good.  We have our soybean crop completed.  The newly-planted 2022 wheat crop looks very good.  Prices for our commodities are still holding above our per-unit costs.  No serious injuries during harvest.  Our river-bottom fields are done, and there is now no danger to them from flooding.  So, it is always a good thing to ‘count your blessings’, and realize the positives far outweigh the negatives.

Wheat at home is lookin’ good!

We need 4 really good harvest days to get this crop completely done.  We hope those field days come sooner rather than later!

Enjoy these last few days of October!

 

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