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Friday, September 23, 2016

Harvest 2016 Episode 1





You can tell its a rainy day and I can't harvest. So I'm catching up on a few things including editing some of the video and photos on my cameras. I worked til 3 am last night trying to finish a field of oat swaths before the rain but never made it. Those big swaths were tough enough going even when relatively dry but the rain was the finish. My "harvest crew" stuck with me right to the finish and I would be lost without them.

Its supposed to be a big one but so far just slow rain. Canola and wheat yielded great. Oats not quite so good and I suspect I should have swathed them sooner before Sunday's wild wind threshed out a lot of crops. Some canola swaths were torn apart and there was a "twister trail" across the oat field yesterday and swaths were scattered. As always, we are at the mercy of nature in this business.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What Else But Combining

Not complaining that I spend almost every day in the combine, or swather, or tractor. It is normal for this time of year. Weather is pretty nice and the scenery gets better every day. This shot over the steering wheel this afternoon while cutting "Brandon" wheat. New variety for me and I'm impressed with it so far.
Took another photo from up on the bin ladder today while watching the grain fill up to the point where the bin won't hold much more but before the auger  plugs up. My truck driver ready to close the gate when I give the signal. So far, so good. 


Just at a rough calculation I must be half way finished. Heavy rain predicted for the weekend (or earlier) so that will be an unwelcome break from harvest that could set us back who knows how long. Today looked pretty damp and hopeless at first but the sun came out and I was able to finish another wheat field. Early too. In the house by 9:00. I almost felt guilty. But did not want to move machinery another 9 miles down the road in the dark.
I've been shooting a short video clip most days in the field in hopes of stringing it all together into a harvest "vlog" when I get around to editing. With as long as harvest gets to be lately I might have to make it a two part Roosty6 video.
In the meantime, Happy Birthday to The Lazy Farmer

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Harvest Days

Back at it for the second day in a row since the rain shut us down nearly two weeks ago. Slow going in a heavy swath with numerous piles of canola where the swather plugged. Some go through while others plug the combine feeder no matter how slowly and cautiously I approach them. I never needed the reverser working for years but this past couple of days I could have used it. So get out the huge wrench and crank it backwards by hand , pulling the tough and wiry canola stems out of the feeder.
The shock loads on the feeder drive are really tearing up the drive sprocket and shaft and I doubt it will run another day before it fails. Sounds like we have two more good days before rain hits again so hopefully I'll get to spend them harvesting rather than repairing.
Picture from today at sunset thanks to my truck driver.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Not Harvesting

Yesterday's showers gave a good 7 tenths rain here so its wet and will take a day or two of drying before harvesting can resume. And that is only if tomorrow's prediction of more rain does not come true.
The heavy fog lifted this morning and created some awesome cloud and sky views here.
As the wheat in the aeration bins had cooled down to the 60s I decided to move it out and free up at least one of the bins for more damp grain if it should happen. Managed to avoid most of the muddy or soft spots in the yard with the truck for the first bin. On the second move, transferring the wheat from the hopper bin into the aeration bin, I spent a bit of time arranging augers so I did not need to use the truck. Just feed from one bin to the next via two augers. It took some work setting up but I think I saved time doing it that way. Plus did not have to run the truck back and forth between two bins less than fifty feet apart.

While you are at youtube you might enjoy watching this U.K. Farmer and his running commentary while running the combine in field and on road. I liked it.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Harvest 2016

Been a little busy , I'll blame it on harvest although I 've only combined wheat for two days.

Typical land of extremes here. It was so hot last week the days I was harvesting that the wheat was hotter than the test scale at one point. Over 30C. Thats around 90 some farenheit for those non metric speakers out there. I was concerned the combination of heat, green spots in the field,, and the odd weed patch would combine to produce heating and spoilage in the bin so ran the fans continuous for about 4 days. Got lucky and the daytime temps were barely hitting 60 (F) the past couple of days which really cooled down the wheat.
Some of the nicest wheat I've grown in years but no doubt the grain buyers will notice ergot, fusarium, or some other imperfections to downgrade it . Prices are of course way down now too.
Today the weather finally smartened up and rained. Not what I wanted but I was sick of the cloudy and threatening conditions that just kept me on the edge of my chair wondering if I'd combine or not. Now I know. ( I won't).
Those indecisive weather days I usually make the wrong choice of jobs. So I swathed a field of wheat/oats on Saturday. This rain will soak the swaths and hurt grain quality.
In other news, I'm officially a great uncle as of last Wednesday night. I'm not allowed to say too much more about that on the web but suffice it to say that the new arrival is very special and very welcome to the family.
If you haven't checked out the LiptonHistory page yet on facebook then head on over and "like" it. I don't if there is some kind of reward when I hit the 500 likes mark but maybe?
Fellow blogger Budd E Shepherd has a new blog post at last. He must have been busy cutting grass and working on his Studebaker but good to see him back.
Got nothing new for my youtube videos although I have some raw , unedited video to put together when I get around to it. Maybe I'll go check out Coldwarmotors channel for inspiration and get something done. He just hit the 10,000 subscribers mark.!


Friday, August 26, 2016

Fixed The John Deere

The lighting problem on the swather turned out to be a switch problem. Pretty tight clearances in the overhead console and the switch had been rubbing on the ac evaporator fins causing the switch to lose internal connection. A little work with the vise grips had it tightened up again. Bent the top terminal down so it did not contact the evaporator anymore and should be good. Those wires would have worn through pretty soon causing more problems.

Now, do I use the swather to cut down the rest of the cereal grains or wait and hope the weather will ripen them enough to straight cut? Last year the straight header never came out of the shed and I swathed everything. Too much moisture and not enough heat.
Heavy rain today so I'm glad the wheat and oats are still standing.
video

Monday, August 22, 2016

Got It All Done

Canola swathing and hay baling got done today. With a little help. I made good time on the canola swathing as the crop was a little lighter and I could travel faster without plugging the swather. Had the field done by 6:00 pm and then to work on the baler. I'd had a little help from a family member who ran the old hoses into town to have new ones made up for me. I had them re-assembled and headed down the road by 7:00 to bale.
It had been a really hot day and the humidity was well up there. Good news for baling hay as it needed the extra day drying today. The humidity helped it feed better without plugging on the baler pickup and I was done just before dark. Tires were getting wet from the moisture on the grass. Broke another cross bar on the baler chain for un known reasons.
Here is a picture of a "test plot" in my canola field. The green crop standing on the left of the picture actually received no canola seed at all at planting time. I'd run out of seed and just threw in a bit of wheat to finish off that two acres. Then when I sprayed the canola with roundup in June I forgot about the wheat and sprayed right over it. Roundup did a good job killing the wheat. Apparently there was enough volunteer canola seed leftover in the soil to produce a fair stand of crop although it is pretty late and will have to stand a bit longer before I swath it.