Harvest Summary Video

Harvest Summary Video


harvesting corn, beans; raking the last hay for the season; using a backhoe; finishing a field talking about yield mapping in combine; newborn calf & cow; putting the corn head in shed; attaching the inline ripper to tractor; inline ripper at work in bean stubble

Harvest Hustle

farm kid on grain bin harvest     This is what is called spotting on a bin.  Z is waiting for me to back the auger up and he will give directions to put the grain auger exactly where it should be.

filling grain bin with corn by auger wagon


We use a 600 bushel wagon as a “catch” “bin” when we put corn in the drying bins.  Corn goes from combine (generally on the go in the field) to wagon to auger to bin.

combine corn sunset

Getting later in the day, corn all around.  It is becoming more and more a “corn” world around here.

yield map 30 acres soybeans

This will probably be our worse field of soybeans.  I thought it would push it to make 25 to 30 bushels per acre.  Actual across the scales at the elevator was 44.7.  That means that Judi has done a good job calibrating the yield monitor on the combine.  See the red those ares are called sand hills.  Purple is “blow” sand.

yield map corn 50 acres

Field south of the house.  Purple area and also red area in middle of the field point out where drainage tile is needed.  Before yield monitors we kinda new about how bad these areas are, but yield monitors really show how bad they really are.

yield map with tile risers flags

Part of a field east of parents house.  It has been partially tiled in 1983 besides old clay tile put in around the turn of the century (1900).  It still has issues as shown by the yield map.  Corn is still much better than I thought it would be with all the late summer dryness we had.  We are in drought 2 category according to the U.S. drought monitor.  Wonder what 4 inches of rain in August and 2 inches of rain the first week of September would have done for the corn yields, not to mention soybean yields?

Harvest Hustle

So far we have been performing the harvest hustle. Switching the combine back and forth between corn and beans when a field is too wet. Moving the auger between drying bins and then filling the regular bins once the corn is dried down. And back to dumping into the drying bins.

Harvest Arrives

yield map of creek bottom

Harvest has arrived and is on hold already. We finished our first corn field (80a). It tested 21% and avg 194 bu/a. That’s pretty good considering this field avg 20 bu/a last year. If we would have had rain these last two months, this field would have made over 200.

A seed dealer showed up just as I was opening the field up. He rode along and watched as I  took out the end rows. Lucky me.

The weather was beautiful. After we finished here we opened up another field. It tested 26%. So we decided to wait on it.

loading grain trailer

Took this shot with a panorama app.

William disked the stalks before we got .5″ rain.

If you happen to be on twitter follow #Harvest13. You see everyone in North America talking about their harvest.

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How Yield Maps Are Made

While driving the combine, I show how yield maps are made. The sensor in the combine measures the volume of corn entering the grain tank then assigns it to a spot on the map.

Harvest 11 Day Complete

row of cornWe finished harvesting the 21st of October.  Actually one of the earlier finishes for us.  Only two real breakdowns with the combine and they were small ones. One of the hose clamps on the air inlet pipe on the turbocharger broke. The other was a drive chain on the corn head.  Semi’s were a problem early on, but the old 99 International once it was running ran great.

Oh by the way, this is Judi’s lessor half posting this, she is still trying to get caught up from being part of ” #occupycombine in #harvest11 “.  She also has been helping me with fieldwork for next year’s crop. We did get one of our new wells hooked up to the house.  Great to have “enough” water.  We also added to the kids show string of heifers this last weekend, more on those girls later. [Read more…]

Harvest11 Day End’s in Sight

Well, Monday coulda been the day we finished.  We had started the last field of beans late Saturday afternoon. The weather was warmish. We whittled away at the last 160 acres for the next couple of days. With the elevator staying open ’til 8:pm, we could get quite a bit done in a day. But it started getting cloudy late Monday morning. NOAA kept increasing the chance of rain from 30% to 70%. By 3:pm it started raining and we had to quit with 20 acres left of the 2011 harvest season. Then we’ve had drizzle for the next two days to keep us out.

skunk in field

BigGreenCombine ran this skunk out of the beans. Lots of critters in the field

Harvest 11 Day Whatever

corn in headI am at the point in harvest where the days are all running together. William keeps talking about “when we get done with this field, we’ll go to that field. Then we’ll switch to beans and haul the bean head to another field.” I hold up my palm and say talk to the hand. (not really) But I did say, “Whoa, stop. It’s going to be a few days before we are done in the current field. A million things could go wrong in that time changing everything. So I’m not listening.” He’s counting loads and acres left. I’m just driving ’til I run out of fields. Different mindsets to the same end.

So the harvest update is fairly redundant. I have lost track of how many days we’ve been in corn. I’m seeing rows of corn plants being shoved into a feeder house in my sleep. I’m not complaining really. As long as the combine and trucks are running, we are getting closer to the prize.

The combine did lose some power today. William thought it may be the fuel filter, since we just used the transfer tank for the first time in awhile. But Russel across the road, who used to be a red IH dealer says the air filters need replaced. He was right. I took out the filter and it was crammed with dust. We’ll replace both sets of filters tomorrow. Tomorrow more corn.

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.

3 Videos 2 Days of Harvest

We missed the rain again this weekend. So hauling water for the houses and cattle will continue. But today it drizzled enough to keep us out of the field so I can catch up on my blog posting of harvest. I am continually trying to come up with interesting things to share since driving a combine back and forth in a field is pretty mundane. The following videos pretty much sum up the last few days since my previous post.


Day 7

The boys will be extremely happy when we finally get all the bins full of corn and we move on to some fields away from home. We fill the drying bins. Then once the corn is dry enough we transfer it to the regular bins for storage til winter. Then we move the auger back to the drying bins to fill them up again ’til the corn is dry and repeat. This is the first year that they have spent so much time at this process. I try to warn them that it’s the beginning of many many years.



Day 8

In these two videos taken today, I tried to show the fields after they were harvested. Then the GreenStar monitor shows the yield maps for each field.





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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.