Friday, October 10, 2014
Rain drove us from the corn field about noon today. We were stopped last night by a rain about 10pm while working at the Wanda/Harvey location on IN Hwy 241. We started up again this morning, and we were able to finish that location just ahead of the next wave of rain. The soil conditions are a bit more than ‘tacky’, but less than ‘sloppy’. The rain has continued steadily during the afternoon. The ground will have to ‘settle up’ some before we can return with the combines…maybe tomorrow?
Harvesting two different crops on the same day?
On Wednesday of this week, we harvested both corn and soybeans. We started our day harvesting corn at Burke. Finishing there, we moved to the nearby Huey farm to pick corn. About 230 pm, we checked on soybeans in the adjoining field at Huey, and we were surprised to find them to be dry enough to harvest. The draper headers we still at the Huey farm, where we left them when we were rained out last Thursday evening. (This field at Huey was our last field of early-planted beans to get across) We removed our corn heads, installed the draper headers and cut the soybeans on the rest of that field. After that, we switched back to the corn heads and returned to corn harvest.
All our early-planted soybeans are now harvested; the double-crop soybeans (DCB) will be ready to harvest in about a week to 10 days. Those, plus a few acres (<25) of replanted soybeans are all that remain to be cut. Feels good.
Many years ago, that kind of flexibility to quickly switch between crops would not have been possible. I remember as a kid when dad changed over from the cutting platform to a corn head, it was an all-day task. The feeder house was a part of the header: it had to be removed with the header. This switch-over was done 2x/year. Wednesday, we did it 2x the same afternoon as conditions required! In addition to switching the headers, some internal settings in the combine’s threshing system must be changed also to accommodate the different crops. Each change-over took us about 20 minutes from stopping in one crop to commencing again in the other crop. Pretty fast, really.
Better weather is predicted for tomorrow. But it is uncertain if the fields will be firm enough to support the combines and grain cart. The wetter, softer soils we have encountered this week creates some special difficulties in where to place the trucks. During those many dry days when we were harvesting soybeans, you could drive a truck any where in the field you wanted to go. For now, until the fields dry again, the trucks must remain on the road. This typically adds distance that the grain cart must travel, and delays its return to the combines. Harvest is slowed, as the combines must sometimes wait to unload.
You just cannot beat ideal conditions!!!
We are hopeful those kind of conditions will return.