Monday, December 7, 2015

The weather and work

I've harvested more of this corn, just haven't got a more recent picture
The weather plays a big part in harvesting.  For this corn, since i've got a grain dryer, it really doesn't matter if it's raining or not when I pick it up; the combine does a great job of separating the kernels from the rest of the plant, but when it rains enough the ground gets too soft for the combine, and it starts to sink.

I've been pulling in two or three combine-loads of corn each day (the combine holds 190 bushels of grain when full, a little over 5 tons worth) and a full combine is almost precisely what the grain dryer holds.

So I'd load the grain dryer in the morning from the night before, and while it's drying, go out and grab another load.  When I come back, the grain is dry,  unload and store, and then load the dryer again, and go back out and get another load.

Then I'd unload the 2nd batch, and load the grain dryer the next morning from the combine.  This allowed me to harvest/dry/store 10 tons of corn per day, and I could get other stuff done as well.

But it's been raining a lot recently; more than an inch a day for most days, and the ground is now soft enough that I'm getting stuck in the field, particularly when the combine is close to full.

The long-term forecast doesn't give me a lot of hope that it'll clear up soon
Summary?  Rain.  Build an arc

The last couple of times they underestimated the flood level
So today it's a rest day for the combine, but a work day for me.  for the combine, it's inspect the belts, grease everything that can be greased, check and replace the fluid levels, remove, inspect and clean the screens, and top off the fuel.  Everything ready to go when the weather clears up a little.

At this point it would be helpful if the ground froze.  It looks like we'll be freezing every night starting about a week from now, and it may be that I can get some combining done while the ground is frozen then.  In the meantime I'm going to run the propane heater in the barn, and put on the headphones and do the equipment maintenance.

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