Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dry Corn Harvest 2011.

So with the wheat in the ground it was time to get the corn out of the field.  Before we could do that, however, we had to move whatever leftover seed wheat we had in our "big" aerated bins. I had been dreading this since it involves a lot of cleaning out equipment and moving of augers.

And then (my nephew) Spencer showed up on his fall break!

While sales had been better than I had expected with the terrible combination of $8 August grain-wheat prices (translation: pretty pricey seed wheat) and our driest year to date on record, we still had quite a bit of seed wheat in the bins.

It went WAY faster with Spencers help.

While it is time consuming to have to clean out augers and hoppers and labor consuming to have to move the equipment around every time we change varieties, we like running the augers over a nice single pit elevator system because we feel it reduces the possibilities for cross contamination of seed.  It is a lot harder to mistakenly dump a truckload of Variety A into a bin containing variety B when you are actually unloading in a different physical location for each bin and when (a lot!) more than a few levers or push-buttons separate the two bins' load points.

The girls had a pretty good time with Spencer over lunch.

And so a job that would have probably taken me two or three days got finished in just one.

And Spencer and Anna had some time for more important things.

And so Dad and I started in on the corn on Monday.

On Tuesday I made an attempt at moving the sprinkler.

It didn't go so well.

 And with just the two of us I didn't have much time to deal with it.

On Wednesday we were still at it. 

Chris (my brother) was able to make it out to help that day, which gave me just enough time to be able to give the sprinkler the attention it deserved. The flat tire in September had really carved out a nice deep wheel rut and I just so happened to shut off the sprinkler at exactly the wrong spot.

I  had to muck out a good 40 feet of the sprinkler track to get it back onto solid ground.

 I had a nice view when I climbed up to check the bin level.

And so we were all done by Thursday morning.

There is nothing better than getting the whole mess that is irrigated corn production out of the way for another year.  And we really didn't come out too badly, considering the year (driest water year (October-October) on record and hottest summer on record) Our yields were off by about 15-20%, which was a lot better than a lot of folks around here fared. I didn't even come close to my personal record low yield (a late season grey leaf spot infection in 2006 was responsible for that one) so I was pretty happy.

Katie was thrilled to get her morning Papa time back. (I think Papa was pretty happy about that too.)

As for me, it was off to do some custom wheat drilling for a neighbor.

Which is the end of October, which means that we are only eleven (11) weeks behind.  Keep in mind that a hundred and fifty years ago eleven weeks for a letter would be--(40 miles per day x 77 days....) oh wow. Yes, eleven weeks is bad even by 1800s standards.

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