|Hey!? That's not supposed to be sticking outta my tire?!|
We also had equipment breakdowns to add to all of the above, on about the third day of harvest, I ran a broken hay rake tine into a combine tire (who knows how long it was laying out in the field), the combine started driving at a funny angle down the backside of a terrace, and we had to take a flatter-than-flat tire off of the combine in the middle of the wheat field. If you've never had the experience, it's more fun than I can describe to hang off of an eight-foot long chunk of pipe you're using as a cheater trying to break some lug bolts loose, and then trying not to get crushed by the tire when you finally get it broken loose from the hub. Putting the fixed tire back on is even more fun, with all the drama of getting it back upright, almost back on the hub (How the heck are we gonna get the holes all lined up?), while also trying to not get flattened by a falling tire and/or have the tire go rolling outta control down the hill. Hanging off of the end of the eight-foot long piece of pipe to get the lug bolts torqued to spec (they gotta be torqued to exactly 405 ft.lb.) wrapped up the fun for the day.
After the epic flat tire battle was finally over, everything went about as smooth as it usually goes, a couple of pins that kept some augers running shook loose inside the combine and it was a simple matter of practicing my contortionist skills while standing on my head to put some new pins back where they needed to go. I also managed to set a new personal record that I'm pretty proud of by only bashing my head three times into the folded-up unloading auger. It's always in the same place when it's folded up, but I always seem to hit my head on it whenever I walk around the combine, I wish I could figure out why that is.
|Combining the pasture-cropped wheat in the weaning pen. Would someone please clean that windshield?|
For whatever reason, some of my best wheat yields this year might have been from this pasture-cropped area of wheat which is both a little interesting and a little disappointing. It's a little interesting because it might actually be possible to convert all or part of the cropland to a perennial grass pasture and still plant a wheat crop by pasture-cropping, and it's a little disappointing because my "normal wheat" yields should have been better than this pasture-cropped area.
I could almost understand having a lower yield in the pasture-cropped area but a higher profit (due to lower input costs), but getting the same or better yields in the pasture-cropped area doesn't make sense. I'm still thinking about what it all means about how or why I'm growing wheat at this point, and what I might need to change.