Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wheat Harvest Starts

The wheat has been ready to harvest for about a week or so, but it's also rained off and on for about a week or so.  The wheat would be dry enough to cut, then it would rain, then as soon as the ground as dry enough to hold up the combine, it would rain a little more, etc.  

On Wednesday, it was finally dry enough to try cutting a sample of wheat without making a bunch of ruts all over the field, so I fired up the combine and started cutting.  When I tested my first sample with my brand-new expensive fancy-dancy grain moisture tester (just like the ones the big-time farmers have), it showed that I had a 13.5% moisture level, so I was off to the races and started combining.  The temperature climbed to the upper 80's which dried out everything a little bit more (usually it's close to 100 when I'm combining wheat, so 85 is a nice change).
Cutting thin wheat along a terrace, at least there''s some decent crabgrass growing out there
It looks like some of the earlier planted wheat was hit a little harder by that late freeze in April than I thought it was, but at least the crabgrass looks good so far.  With the rain we've been getting, I'll be cutting this field for hay pretty soon, and I should have plenty of hay this winter (possibly enough for next year too).
 
Still not pouring into the bin, but it's better than trickling into the bin
I was a little disappointed about how thin the first wheat I cut was (it always looks different from a combine cab than from the ground), but it started getting thicker and yielding more grain the farther I cut into the field (it's much better when it gets thicker as you cut then when it gets thinner and thinner).
 
Starting to fill the truck up

Of course, it rained close to an inch last night, so everything came to a screeching halt today while everyone waits for everything to dry out again.  In the meantime, I get to watch the weather forecast hoping for a few hot, windy days to dry out the wheat fields while trying not to throw the remote through the TV when the nitwit weatherman gleefully talks about how great it is that we're getting all this rain lately.

The old saying goes, "Rain makes Grain", but usually it also works out that "Grain makes Rain".

7 comments:

  1. If I don't get a couple of dry days soon so I can mow, our place will be completely swallowed by the jungle. It seems that nature only comes in two sizes - too much or too little.

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    1. I've always thought that nature was feast or famine, boom or bust, hot or cold.

      A week or so ago, I saw a lawnmower that was modified to cut tall grass and weeds that would work great to tackle a lawn that had been jungle-ized at:

      http://thedeliberateagrarian.blogspot.com/2014/05/sheet-metal-mulch-my-amazing-friend.html

      It looked so dangerous (in fact, it looked incredibly dangerous) that I thought about building one to chop brush, etc.

      Delete
    2. I like the lawnmower. Do they make chain mail pants to use while pushing that thing!

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    3. I'd be afraid that I'd somehow get in front of that blade while it was running when I was having one of my typical knock-down-drag-out fights just to get the stupid thing started. Fifteen minutes of yanking the starter cord and cussing until it finally sputtered to life, then agonizing pain and some of my toes flying across the yard because I inadvertently stepped in front of that beast.

      Or, I'd hit a rock and fling it a few hundred yards and hit some little old lady in the head while she was weeding her flower garden.

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    4. I didn't think those little push mowers could get any more dangerous...

      I was thinking about that modification while I was mowing yesterday. It would be pretty cool if it laid the grass over nicely so a person could make hay with it. A poor man's sickle-bar mower. I thought maybe it could be made a little bit safer with a grill of rebar out front that still let the tall grass through.

      But I'm not real eager to experiment with it...

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  2. "...hoping for a few hot, windy days..."

    Be careful what you wish for! I've seen my father say something like that and then nothing but how windy days for the rest of the year occurs!

    We've been getting not as frequent showers as you fellows further south but enough to wet our whistle. For the first time since last spring, we are now officially out of the drought though I would still say we could still use regular gentle showers for awhile just in case. The lawn here has been mowed more times this year than the previous two years combined!

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    Replies
    1. As many times as I've wished and cussed for it to rain and it didn't even try to rain, I'm not too concerned about my wishes coming true any more.

      Even though it's rained somewhere around 4 inches in the last couple of weeks or so, we're still in a D3 - Severe Drought (although I'm still not clear on the details of what that actually means in real world numbers).

      But even through we're technically still in a drought, the grass and the grain sorghum are growing due to the rain, which is what I care about right now.

      Delete

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