We honestly had no measurable rain in June and July. To me it’s amazing our dry land corn actually produced anything. At its worst it was hard to tell the difference between where you had already harvested and where you hadn’t. Some of it looked this pathetic.
Compare that to the irrigated corn.
I haven’t asked Brad for official numbers, but I’d say that our irrigated produced 4 times more than the dry land. You could drive the combine through the irrigated field one time before filling up. You could pick through the dry land down and back 2 to 3 times before filling up. If we used the grain cart in the dry land they had a lot more time to read than they did in the irrigated.
One more comparison for your Monday. These pictures are taken in the same field.
The first one was not long after the field was planted and the second is just after it was harvested. A lot changes in a field within six months.
Mishap 1: Brad left the bottom open on a grain cart that he hasn’t used since last year. A nice little pile of corn poured out of the bottom of it. He got his workout in for the day when he shoveled it back into the combine.
Our grain cart driver started to overflow the other grain cart she was dumping into and then couldn’t get the gate shut. She panicked and left a generous pile of corn. It was nothing that the loader tractor couldn’t clean up, and the next day she only drove tractor as long as she didn’t have to unload the grain cart again.Mishap 3: Mishap is putting it lightly. Let me give you some captions for the following picture.
-How to determine if your husband loves you more than money
-Why auger wars are a bad idea
-Keeping it real
-What takes a day to disassemble and a day to reassemble?
-You know it’s bad when you think, “At least nothing burned and no one was run over.”
-How to erase the thought that your help during harvest is worth something
-My new motto: But for the grace of God go I
We have started harvesting our dry land corn. DRY is the true descriptive word there since most of the fields had barely any rain during June and July, kind of critical months in the life cycle of a corn plant.
At this point my 10 year old has helped Brad more than I have. I still can’t really believe it, but she is becoming a proficient grain cart driver. I’m sticking to the combine. I went to help one morning last week. Brad wanted to drive me around to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything important and to fill me in on the ins and outs of harvesting dry land corn. Our training ride was longer than expected and turned into a photo session.
Let’s take a selfie to get your mind off the fact that your knee just got squished under the armrest of Dad’s seat.
First combine ride
The 3 year old took a turn with the camera.
The best picture I’ve seen of me in a long time
And I took pictures of the 3 year old.
Quality time. I never ended up having to drive the combine myself because, ironically, it started to rain.
On the subject of harvest, check out this gnarly carrot from our garden.
Brad finished harvesting his corn today. He’ll still be helping another farmer with harvest, but his corn is out of the field.
The big highlight of this harvest was Elliana learning to drive the grain cart. Brad started showing her the ropes Sunday afternoon.
Aunt Renae rode along with her yesterday, but Elliana just didn’t feel like she could go by herself yet. Today she and Brad went out to finish the last 100 rows. He thought the way things were set up would be perfect for her to drive by herself, and she did. Don’t worry about her being overworked. She’s been SO EXCITED all week about driving the grain cart!
Looking for corn that the combine missed
Another highlight was getting quality, one-on-one time in the combine with the big kids. If you want to see how your kids are different, just spend a few hours with each of them in a combine.
Wyatt and Liza rode with me for a short bit and were more than happy when a better option came up for them. Three people in that small space isn’t ideal for long periods of time.
Now we’re praising God that a safe and happy harvest is complete!
This is how Brad and I spent this most perfect October day.
He tried to rig up a bin extension so I could go a little further without needing to unload or spill. I still spilled over the top once and maybe even out the back once. Why did they not make the “bin is full” light a little more dramatic and eye catching?!
My job was a little easier this year because I had a much larger target to hit when dumping into the grain cart. Doesn’t this
look a lot bigger than our first grain cart? It served us well, but I’m thankful I have more room for error. It’s hard to tell from the pictures but there’s a 225 bushel difference between the two, which is equivalent to one more combine bin.Brad drove truck for another farmer harvesting for most of this week. They picked an entire pivot in a day. With a fire call delay, slightly slow start, having to drive slow because of the extra tall corn stalks making more work for the combine, and our small two man operation, I think we maybe got 50 acres done today.
I was amused today by texts from other friends in the field. One friend, who is also a country transplant, texted, “Some days it’s like I’ve never filled a truck before!” I know neither of us would’ve expected to send or receive that text five years ago.
Another friend texted me, “The best days in the field are when you can listen to the Huskers!” Husker football on the radio did help the afternoon go by; and whether you’re a Husker fan or not, this article written by a Husker sports writer who visited a Nebraska farm is an delightful read. It sheds light on why Brad couldn’t stand to not be a farmer and will probably make you wish you could do a harvest ride along.
Small Town Nebraska/My Family:
The trunks (country dwellers) really showed up at the trunk or treat tonight. We might have trunk or treated more than we trick or treated. It was a great time!
Everywhere I looked I saw people harvesting. I actually saw one combine so full that corn was spilling out of the side of it! Hello?! Maybe it was a first time driver. I kept thinking that I wanted to pick corn and was afraid I might not get my time in the combine. Amazing what three years will do to a person. You must not think I’m strange until you experience how satisfying picking corn is.
Finally, the pivot is ready to be picked. I went there as soon as was done with work on Thursday. Brad only gave me a 30 second reminder and left me alone. He didn’t even ride along with me to make sure I knew what I was doing this year. My only caution was to not back into a pole. (Go ahead and pray right now that I never do that.)
I only had to call Brad one time to figure out why things were beeping. It took me less than a minute to line up the header with the rows, and I only had to back up to get it right one time! I promise I’m still not an expert, but I didn’t hold my breath half the time I was driving. Just a few times, like maybe when I first had to unload into the grain cart and pick at the same time. See this grain cart? I filled it as full as I could. Brad was pleased.
Brad saved me from having to pick the messy end rows, but I rode along and got pictures of our friends’ combine from the window of our combine.
I had time to get more pictures later because I was picked full, the grain cart was full, and we were waiting for the truck to come back from the elevator. I wish I would’ve had my good camera! This would be a lovely picture without the auger in it, but then you wouldn’t know it was taken from a combine.
It was a gorgeous evening. I know I’m not supposed to wish my little kids away, but I do look forward to when I can get my combine time without having to have other people take care of my kids. Liza confined to a cab for any length of time is a terrible idea. Rain is keeping us out of the field this weekend, which is a good thing; but we’ll be back on Monday!