Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Harvest Time

This year I haven't been able to help my parents bring in the crops as often as I would like. Most of that is because I am not needed compared to last year where my mom was finishing up radiation at this time. I also have a preschool child that needs a ride to and from preschool every weekday. But I finally made it out one sunny and very windy Saturday to help with soybean harvest already in progress.

This year was a weird one. Not only was it deathly dry all summer long, but now that the weather is back to normal patterns, the soybeans still have green stems and lots of leaves while the beans themselves are dry. They are also very short due to the drought. All this combines into making them hard to harvest. Fortunately, my parents farm is a tier of counties south of where I live so they got a few more rains (still considered to be in a moderate drought versus the extreme drought classification where I live) than us so their soybeans are better than those near me. The yield is about half of what it was last year which was a bumper crop. I would classify this just bordering the poor range for yield.

Last year I ran the catch wagon so that the combine never has to stop which makes harvest a bit faster. However that requires a bit of a learning curve every year and since I wasn't working everyday, I let the hired hand who had been running it continue to do so while I hauled the soybeans to the farm and augered them into a grain bin. The tractor in this picture was the one I completely rewired to a 12V system last fall/winter and blogged about quite a bit. We call it Ol' Dave after the person who owned it before us. (That person died in a tragic accident and his young daughters sold it to us along with part of his farm.)

Back in my youth, we had fixed augers which meant one had to pull up to the auger just right and know how to back up wagons with ease. These days my parents have augers with articulating joints that swing out under the wagon which means I just have to get close and rarely have to do any backing. For the most part, it isn't a very hard job but I say that as someone who has been doing it off and on for four decades.

Every once in awhile I make a trip up to the top of the bin to make sure the grain spreader is spreading the grain evenly throughout the bin and to see how full the bin was getting. When I took this picture, this was the last wagon I would be able to fit in this grain bin and all the others for the day were stored in another one. I enjoyed my day and hope to get another couple more in before the end of harvest.


Kelly said...

Great view in that last shot!

Not long ago my husband talked to the guy who farmed the land we sold a few years ago and it seems that it's recently been purchased by the Bill Gates Foundation.

Bob said...

I know your folks are glad to have you help out when you can. As a non-farmer, I’m in awe of you folks and really enjoy reading your narrative and seeing the pictures.

Ed said...

Kelly - There is a story buried in that comment!

Bob - ... and I really enjoy helping them. Even though I am off the farm, I still have some farming in my blood and probably always will have.