Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Late yesterday afternoon, we finished harvesting the soybeans at the Freddie farm. They had dried down sufficiently from the previous week, and were ripe and ready. The weather was cloudy, but windy and warm, and that allowed an earlier start to the harvest day. So, another milestone has been reached at Carnahan & Sons. Ross and I did our traditional harvest-is-done handshake. It was a very favorable fall for harvest work, with very few weather delays. I found it very easy to go to bed early last night!
Looking back, there were challenges to the harvest season. It seems like we had some more truck troubles than typical, but with the help of our local Mack shop, we were able to work around the breakdowns and keep making harvest progress. It helped that we had more soybean acres than corn.
Now, our attention turns toward the clean-up. Today, we will begin the washing process. The machines didn’t get quite as dirty this fall, due to the fact that there were not really any muddy days. One of the first things to get cleaned is the grain cart and its tractor. Combines will be next. Finally, the trucks will get to see the wash pad.
One thing that helps the post-harvest clean-up is that we use a leaf blower routinely on the combines. This takes off the loose dust, and keeps it from ‘caking’ on the machine. By doing so, it reduces the danger of a combine fire, and reduces the amount of scraping that needs to occur. There is one task that is rather yucky… and that is cleaning out the sump at the bottom of the grain tank unloading vertical auger. We remove the two panels and poke out the sticky, smelly grain.
It is quite important to us that we get our machines shiny again. Dad always told us, “Take care of your equipment, and it’ll take care of you.”
One other task we are doing now is running the bush hog around the edges of selected fields to clean up the roadside appearance.
We are also working with Greg at CPS to evaluate the 2016 crop performance, soil test the appropriate fields, and work out a fertility plan for 2017. Next, we will meet with our seed provider and map out our 2017 seed selections.
The pace can now let up a little bit, but there are still many tasks on our plate during October and November.
The yield results were not stellar this year…perhaps we have become a little spoiled by the past few years. But we are grateful for our 2016 harvest, now in the record books.