Harvest 11 Day 9 & possibly 10

grain cartHad a big day for us this Sat. We harvested 80 acres of corn in three fields. We hired a truck for the weekend since our semi is still getting worked on. I was in the combine cab for 11 hours. Only leaving once for a potty break. William drove the grain cart. Unloading on the go really gets the combine over the acres. Yields were around 150 bu/acre and 20% moisture. The truck driver said he didn’t think he could work for me. I don’t think I would want to work for me either. Eating while shelling corn is not good for the digestion.

Tell me about your long hours.

Harvest 11 Day 6

Night Harvest

took this picture tonight with my cheap camera

This morning William and I met someone who is going to drill a well on some ground we own west of us about 2.5 miles from our house. Hopefully they will be able to get the well in soon because driving 16 miles to haul water everyday really sucks.

We finished filling another bin with dried corn this afternoon. Then once we got everything moved around again and after we ate supper, I fired up the combine again. Started another field that was testing 25%. We are trying to get the corn out; so we can build fence around a stalk field we drive through. The pastures have given out because of the lack of rain for 3 months. Once we get them on the stalk field, we won’t have to feed so much of the winter hay.


Harvest 11 Day 5

It is definitely a love/hate relationship with the GreenStar. But I did add my first flag to a map today. But I don’t know how to remove it. I was on the end rows dumping into the grain cart just figuring out the flagging. And I did make a new home page with the flags in the layout. I should have taken a picture of the screen. Will do that tomorrow and show you. William didn’t seem all that impressed with these accomplishments. He just said, “But you don’t know how to remove the flag.” He didn’t score many points today.

Event of the day: Our first breakdown. The chain that drives the right side of the corn head broke. You know about this problem quickly when you start plowing rows of corn. This is a messy fix since the chain is in a sealed oil bath. We got it fixed and running again. I ran the combine ’til about 5:30 when we had enough wet corn in the bin. Next we moved augers and wagons to transfer corn from the first drying bin to a regular bin with a fan. William will fill that bin tomorrow morning.

Combine corn head

William fixing the chain on the corn head.

If you would like to follow along with us during harvest, subscribe to the updates in the sidebar. New posts will be sent to your email.

Harvest 11 Day 4

Not taking it too fast yet. The corn is still a little wet at 24%. It is still averaging 175 bushels/acre. I would say we took out about 35 to 40 acres today. The guys switched to another drying bin after filling the first.

I am having a little difficulty getting the GreenStar screen to display the info I want. I got the acres for the individual fields to show but now I can’t zoom in and out of the map. Will be pecking away at it again tomorrow. There are some tile risers I want to flag on the maps. So I put out a tweet asking how to do that. @AaronBokeck was nice enough to tweet back the steps. Thank you. I was thinking that if I had auto steer on the combine I could tweet a lot more. 😉

Harvest 11 Day 3

Harvest 11 Day 3 Had .4 of rain that was mostly drizzle for a day. But when the clouds cleared the next afternoon we went back to the field.

William is teaching Z to run the grain cart. Lord help him.

Nate from Wyffle Seeds came by and road in the tractor with William. He was talking about some seed corn will be scarce next year because of the terrible growing conditions this year.

Need to get more podcasts on my ipod. I’m running out of shows to listen to. Hauled more water at dusk.

Harvest 11 Day 2

Another slow day. William and Bella had to take a few steers to the sale barn. Then it was left to the boys and I to handle the corn. The field we are in is close to the bins so we don’t have to haul it too far. Becker showed up to run the grain cart. Unloading on the go, is much faster. We put two cameras on the grain cart; one to see behind the cart and one to see inside the cart to watch the corn dumping. I’ll get some pictures or video on them.

The cattle haulers returned home. Next they had some cattle rustling to do. They were moving cows and calves around to get ready for weaning. Only one calf escaped but they quickly corralled him back into the lot.

Late after noon, it started to drizzle enough that we had to stop the combine. The video below was taken just before then.



Harvest11 Day 1

I have to decided to capture this harvest season day by day as much as possible. We have started pretty much on schedule with only a few “hiccups”. Stopping and starting because of cattle work, wells going dry, hauling water, meetings, drizzle ect. The corn is testing around 22%. So we can only fill the drying bin so much at a time.

Day 1:weigh wagon

Mike came with his weigh wagon to calibrate the GreenStar monitor. Got the cheat sheets out to remind me of what buttons to push. Only had to call the guys at the dealership twice for all the different settings. At the Farm Progress show, we were told that the dealership will be able to see our screen on their computer to see what in the world we are trying to describe.

The kids have cleaned out the bins and replaced the doors. The boys’ job is to watch the auger dump loading the bins. Bella is to keep track of the pastures and water situation.

The following video is a short one. It was taken before I had the idea of a daily harvest log. If you would like to follow along with our daily harvest activities, subscribe to the post updates in the sidebar. New entries will be sent to your email. And ask any questions you might have.


Farm Progress Show

grain cart flag poleWhat We Did At The Show

I must say I enjoyed the Farm Progress Show this year. Mostly because William and I went on Tuesday when it was perfect weather. We started the morning at the gate waiting for it to open after the big ceremony with the parade of a motorcycle. Making a bee line to the hospitality tent, we met some people we knew right away. At the tent was Illinois State Univ. Ag Dept. breakfast. We ate and talked to some professors and alums. Afterwards KJ gave us a ride on his golf cart to the area with the livestock equipment where we ordered a hay hauler from another ISU grad who was manning his exhibit.

I am always disappointed in the lack of livestock exhibitors at the Farm Progress Show. It’s all corn all the time. It seems to me. Anyway we talked to a lady who had vet supplies. She explained this electronic immobilizer for cattle that was very interesting. William would really like a brand for our cows. So we discussed that. She gave us a tip on locating a dry ice supply.

William just had to hear the Quebe Sisters sing and I wanted to win an Ipad. I didn’t feel like sitting for the whole performance but I wanted that Ipad. The sisters and band were really good. Well, we sat but I didn’t win it. They went thru about 5 names of people who weren’t present, one we even knew. Those idiots.

Then it was off to the Morton Buildings where we entered for the $50,000 towards a building. We have been talking about putting up a barn for our cattle for years. I told William, “I am done talking. Let’s just build the @#^% thing.”

Stopped at the John Deere tent and looked over the new combine, of course. (more about that later). William wanted to talk to someone who knew something about the trouble we have been having with one of our tractors. But no one new anything. Went in the tent to look at the new GreenStar Monitoring system. The technician there gave us a walk thru the new features. The new screens will have video available. The GreenStar expert at your dealership will eventually be able to see your monitor on his computer to walk you thru the settings. Was so interested in talking about the monitor, I missed the tweetup.

Then it was on to the seed dealers; Pioneer, Wyffels, & Stine. Talked to some nice guys there. Another ISU grad. William told them where their seed was lacking and what was good. Looked at a few plots. After this we were ready to head home.

qr code collgeQR Codes where everywhere. I think they just wanted to show off.


Deere Store TrailerLots of people were paying to give John Deere advertisement.  William said they were making more money on shirt sales than tractors.


Bin PavillionI want one of these. And we have an old bin to do it. Will try to get the boys working on that.


combine collageLast but definitely the most expensive a big green combine. Praise God a radio with an audio input. Lots of cup, deep cup holders and cubby holes for a phone and stuff.(Refer back to my storage complaints: here & here) William questioned the Deere draper header. There is a big slat on both sides that grain could fall thru. And I can’t believe I didn’t even check out the refrigerator. Our dealer said it is more like plug in cooler anyway.


Well that is a wrap up of our experience at the Farm Progress Show. I was very pouty that I didn’t go home with a free Ipad. If you went and wrote about it like Dave did on his blog, leave a link in the comments.


Apex mapping is done

Yield Map Scott at our dealership will be elated to know that I am finally done working on the yield maps for 2010. You would think that it wouldn’t take much. Just print them out. Wishful thinking. We adjust each field for actual yield from elevator ticket totals making the maps more accurate. I had to calculate the total bushels from the tickets to the dry weight. This wasn’t hard just took time since there are about 35 individual fields. We had replant fields that had to be merged with the rest of their field since they were harvested on a different date. Hugo (I think that is what he said) at Apex support helped me with that maneuver. Then I had to go back and resize the small maps after I figured out how to enlarge them. Here is an update Apex could work on that would save a ton of time: If the map page with the legend below would give the perimeter of the map on the  print out or exported file. Then I wouldn’t need to go back and forth adjusting the placement of the map to best fit in the allotted space.

If you click on the map image it will take you to the full size file. This corn field is in Salt Creek bottom. The map shows the water damage from the wet spring. On the north the red shows the flooding from the creek. On the south water drains from a couple of hills toward the creek. Where the green shaded areas appear to the west, that is the sandy soil where the yield is usually the worst. While we have seen some good prices for the 2010 crop, we had below average yields. I’m off to email the maps to our landlords. I hope I can remember how to make all the map adjustments next year or Scott will wish I lost his number.

Screencast #1 Apex Mapping

[youtube width=”480″ height=”385″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTSSrkepd4Q[/youtube]

In this screencast I talk about the difference in yields in a corn and bean fields for last year. The GreenStar Apex mapping shows the yield difference in the harvested field.

My first screen cast. Constructive criticism only please.