Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thankful For Harvest

With this being Thanksgiving week, it seems like a perfect time to review harvest. We completed corn combining a few weeks back. Farmer John said it was the best year we ever had- cooperative weather and a big yield!

Last year I did all the corn combining. I really enjoyed it. I thought it was gratifying and even relaxing. This Fall, I only drove the combine one day. Grandpa Roy's health improved since last year, and as I have said many times, "You can't keep a good man down." With help from Farmer John or Michael, and occasionally even the loader tractor bucket, Grandpa was helped into the cab of the combine, and down the field road he went with one mission in mind- combing corn. "Git 'er done!" Beside the fact that everyone feels better when busy and productive, I think Grandpa Roy was jealous that I got to drive the new combine that we purchased last Fall, and he hadn't.

 Each time the combine fills with corn, the corn is then transferred to one of three wagons that are used to transport the corn back to the storage bins. Grandma, Sara, and I kept a watchful eye on the wagons as they unloaded. No, it was not a three-person job, only one of us at a time, but this duty was taken on by whoever was not at their off-the-farm-job, or not busy doing other farm chores.

The corn leaves the wagon and goes through a screener which sifts out debris before the corn heads up the auger to the bin which dries and stores the corn. The corn is dried (using propane heat) so that it does not mold. Since we had a fairly warm, dry Fall, we did not have to run the drier as long as usual. This is good news as it saves money! We have two bins which hold 22,000 bushels of corn. Each one is filled to the brim.

We now have enough corn stored to last us until next Fall, to be used as feed for our cattle. You can learn about that here. 
After the combing is finished, John baled the corn stalks which the combine leaves behind in the field. The corn stalk bales are used for bedding.
And lastly, Farmer John and Grandpa Roy prepare the soil, by working up the ground, so it is one step closer to being ready for Spring planting, when we start all over again!

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