Friday, October 14, 2016

Farm Friday - Harvest Happenings

Harvest is a busy time of the year on our farm.  The days start early and the nights end late.  We work as hard as mother nature allows us to bring in both our corn and soybean crop.  When I find myself at home I play "catch up" with all of the house work and try to cross off a couple things (or at least one) from my to-do list.  And since today is Friday, I thought it'd be a fun excuse to ignore my messy living room and breakfast dishes in the sink and write a Harvest Happenings blog post.

Harvest Happenings - My Buddy and I
My tractor riding buddy Miss L and I
Harvest this year has been going a little slow and to tell you the truth, has been full of the unexpected.  We normally like to start harvesting our soybeans and then switch to corn.  But this year, due to flooding in September, I think we've switched back and forth between soybeans and corn four times because we're simply just going to fields that are dry enough to be worked in.  And you might not think switching back and forth isn't that big of a deal, but it takes time and slows down harvest.  We have to completely clean out the combine, catch cart, wagons, auger, etc. and switch the combine's head between corn and soybeans.  We store and sell our corn and soybeans separately so you don't want corn mixed in with your soybeans and vice versa.

Harvest Happenings - Unloading corn from catch cart to set of wagons
Here is a picture of me dumping corn from my catch cart
to a set of wagons.  Every piece of equipment used for harvest
has to be cleaned out when we switch between corn and soybeans.
And talking about that September flooding, that is causing concern for a couple different reasons.  First, is that the ground is still not completely dry and very soft.  While taking out the crop, we have to be careful while driving in the field so we don't get stuck.  We also are waiting to do any fall tillage work because things are so wet that we'd end up just compacting the soil more, rather than breaking it up which is the benefit in the first place.  The second reason for concern is the crop health and stand.  Many, if not actually all, of our corn and soybeans were in standing water at some point.  This has caused our stalks to deteriorate and the chance of fungus growing on our plants to increase.

Harvest Happenings - water line from flooding on corn in North Iowa
Can you see that line along the bottom of the corn stalks?
That is a water line from the flooding we had in September.
But this fall hasn't been all gloomy.  Part of the unexpected of this year is that our crops are yielding average to above average.  That makes the increase stress of harvesting in these non-ideal conditions a little better to handle.  Also, my favorite part of harvest is always the time spent making memories with our family.  Sometimes it gets a little crazy having our kids out in the field and so involved during harvest, but it is so much fun too.  How lucky are our kids that they get to be with their parents and grandparents everyday?!

Harvest Happenings - First Tractor Ride of the Fall
Miss R taking the customary
"First Fall" steering wheel photo in the tractor
So this is a little bit of everything I've been thinking about, stressing about, and enjoying lately.  I also did my first "Farm Friday Facebook Live" from the tractor last week and I hope to find time to do it again today.  What questions do you have about corn and soybean harvest?  I'll try to answer those questions in my next Facebook Live and on here through my next Harvest Happenings.  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

6 comments:

  1. Love the update! Love your buddy seat partner and I can't believe how much Ms. R is looking like your farmer!

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    1. Thanks Katy and I think they look a lot alike too!

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  2. I'm glad the yield is better than expected to help make up for the extra stress mother nature has provided. Hopefully she is nice for the rest of the harvest!

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    1. I hope she is nice too :) On a happy note, we have a dry forecast for the next week, so at least we'll be able to get in and work each day.

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  3. Loved reading your post, seeing that little riding buddy and hearing that crops are coming in so well despite the setbacks. I loved your Friday Facebook Live and showed Chris!!!

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    1. Thanks for sharing my Friday Facebook Live. It just didn't work to do it yesterday, we were combining ponds and then starting a new field and before I knew it, it was too dark to get a good video. Maybe today!

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