Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Harvesting Soybeans

Hello again, good readers. We actually started cutting beans last Monday, but I'm lazy anymore when it comes to blogging, and for that, I apologize. We had a bunch of trouble with our combine. We got a new (to us) bean head, and long story short, our combine needed a software upgrade because of it. No big deal, we were told. It ended up causing us to be down 4 days, and of course, it had to rain this last weekend. If it weren't for losing those 4 days, we would've had most of our beans cut by the time it rained. Instead, we've got maybe 500 acres left to cut. We would've been able to go today, I think, but it rained again last night. I'm hoping for Saturday now.

Anyhow, back to the combine saga. Our dealer couldn't get the software support they needed to get us going, so they were going to give us a combine to use while ours was getting fixed. Dad and Grandpa went outside with the owner of the dealership to make sure everything was ok on the combine we were going to get, only to find that all the copper wiring had been stripped on it. This was on a Saturday. So, Matt, the combine mechanic, came out last Monday and still could not get our combine going. He finally got ahold of one of the higher-ups at Deere and was told he could do whatever he needed to get a combine to us, free of charge. They brought one out last Tuesday - a 9770:

I'll try to explain a little how the bean head works. I forgot to take detailed pictures... Sorry, kids. Anyway, under the black thing (the reel) is a sickle, which is attached to an arm that moves it back and forth pretty rapidly. The sickle has a bunch of little knives on it that cut the soybean stems off. The reel goes round and round, like a wheel, and sweeps the beans into the auger, which takes them into the feeder house on the combine, which takes them into the combine to be processed. Eventually, you end up with soybeans in the grain tank of the combine and all the chaff blows out the back of the combine. When we get up and running again, I'll take some good pictures of everything and go over it all again.

Finally, to work:

I took those pictures while I was running the grain cart. The grain cart goes alongside the combine so it can unload while it harvests. Then, I take the beans up to the semi to unload:

Here are a few more pictures. The night ones didn't turn out like I wanted. I'm not a real fantastic picture taker.

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