In the spirit of consciously not doing it all and due to an unusual amount of work travel, I’ve been away from the blog a bit. I happy to report that since the my last harvest update, the fields have dried and we’ve made significant progress.
Because the corn stayed in the field longer than intended, we didn’t get to chop as much silage as originally planned (the corn was too dry, despite the wet field), so the combine was dusted off and put into action to finish the job!
If you don’t have experience with a combine, there are a few things to know. (1) They are huge. (2) They are expensive. (3) They are pretty amazing machines. In the good old days, corn was picked by hand. Then farmers migrated to corn pickers, which mechanically picked the ear of corn. You would store the corn cobs in a corn crib and use a “sheller” to take the kernels off the cob. Finally, the combine was invented. This machine mechanically removes the ear from the plant and the kernels from the cob in one smooth process. This machine has allowed farmers to harvest more acres in less time to meet the demands of a growing population. It’s pretty neat to see it in action.
Last weekend, during my 24 hours between business trips, I was able to spend some quality time with my farmer in the combine. There was a comfortable buddy seat, a good view, and excellent company. Here are some pictures to show you what the combine experience looks like. (Also, if you’re in the neighborhood in the fall, you are welcome to take a ride!)
Once combining is done in the next few days, there is still plenty of work to finish. There are corn stalks to chop, rake, and put into round bales. The goal is to make 2,000 round bales this season (they are used to bed the cattle pens and to feed the cattle). Once those bales are made, they are moved out of the field and stacked which is one of the least glamorous jobs on the farm. Also, we will till the ground, spread manure to add nutrients to our soil, and harvest some of the cover crops we planted early in the fall. Basically, the work doesn’t end just because the corn is in the bin . . . but we’re getting closer!