Sunday, September 9, 2012

Harvest Started. Suddenly.

Dad always plants about 40 acres of short season, 97 day (Channel 197-67VT3P) corn. This year, I noticed that it went from green to brown in a span of about 2 days. Dad checked the moisture on it Wednesday and it tested 14%, which is pretty dry. See, if it's 16% moisture content (% of the weight of the corn that is water, basically) or less, you don't get docked at the elevator for moisture. If it's above that, they will charge you a drying fee, which I'm assuming is the same as last year - $.03 a half point. So, if you are taking 20% moisture corn in, they will have to dry it down to 16%. Because of that, they will charge you $.24/bu.

Anyway. The corn was dry, so it was time to pick it.

We finally got the combine out of the shop Friday morning around 11:30. We got the field opened up and picked a couple of loads when a shaft snapped on the corn head. It had been broken for awhile apparently and finally gave out, so it's nice that it happened right away so we could fix it. Shay stopped at Green Line after work and got a new one and Dad had the head back together that night. Dad and I went out this afternoon and filled the trucks and the auger wagons. The corn was yielding 190-200bu/acre until we got to the hot spots in the field. This particular field has a few spots that are really sandy, and with no rain this summer, there's really no way to get them the moisture they need. The field will still yield well considering that. I'm guessing 175-180bu/acre. By my mistake, Dad picked 8 rows of 116 day corn (Channel 216-61R) and it was making around 220 at 18% moisture, so there is some hope out there for good corn. Time will tell.

We also tested some of our other corn that is 107-109 day maturity, and it was anywhere from 19-23% moisture. Supposed to be hot and windy the next two days, and stay close to 80 after that, so we will probably be picking corn full blast by the weekend, and if not, by next Monday. The beans are also turning fast, so it could be an interesting fall.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Last Go 'Round

I'm hopeful that this will be the last time that I have to water the soybeans. If it's not, well, I guess it won't be that bad. There's a field I irrigate for Dad that had to be replanted June 1 as it got hailed out, so that'll need watered a couple more times probably, but all of the other beans are turning pretty quickly. I started my pivot last night to finish things out. Took a quick picture when I drove by to check it this morning:

Dad hand checked the moisture of his 97 day corn and it test 14.5% moisture, so it might be closer to 16%, but that means we'll be picking corn tomorrow. Hopefully. St. Paul Equipment was putting a new AC compressor on and then the combine should be ready to go. I think there are only about 50 acres of that short season corn, so we won't be going full tilt. After we're done with that, we'll probably be 10-14 days out on harvest starting all out. Might be sooner than that the way the wind has been blowing and as hot as it's been.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Starting to Feel Like Fall

Even though it was 100 degrees today (yeah, really) I can feel the seasons changing.

I had a craving for Pizza Hut, so Wife and I went up to St. Paul tonight for a classy evening on the town. On the way home, I took some gravel roads to look at crops. The sun is setting earlier, it cools off at night and it smells like fall. If you've ever driven by corn fields when the corn is maturing, you know what I mean.

It's pretty refreshing to me to see corn turning brown and beans turning yellow and dropping their leaves after the summer we've had. A week from today will mark three months ago that we started irrigating, and it's been non-stop since then. That is highly unusual for us. To see the crops maturing gives me a small feeling of euphoria, knowing that we got through the worst summer this area has seen in decades. It goes to show that leaning on God will get you through anything. I freaked out enough as it was. I have no idea where I'd be without his wisdom, love and grace.

Seems like we were at this stage so long ago: