It finally happened. We had a full week of dry enough soil and good weather to put in a full week of harvest. There are quite a few less acres on our farm to harvest now. We are now around two-thirds done with harvest.
When we harvest popcorn all three trucks are usually loaded at the end of the day so they can head out for delivery early the next morning. I’ll also fill the grain cart with a truckload worth of popcorn so the first truck to return can hit the road again quickly. Our popcorn goes from the field straight to Van Buren, IN which is about and hour and forty minutes one way. Add in the time to get the load scaled in, sampled, tested, dumped, and scaled and that makes for about a four round trip depending on how many other trucks are at the plant that day. Even at that I normally don’t sit idle very long in the combine once I’ve got room to dump again.
The combine, grain cart, and trucks all need a thorough cleaning before we start popcorn harvest. After wrapping up soybean harvest one night I drove the combine back to the home farm at the shop and got rid of any grain that wasn’t popcorn. By the time we clean out the sump for the unloading auger and blow out all the ledges in the grain tank there will be several bushels of crop on the concrete. As a final assurance that we don’t get caught with corn or soybeans in our popcorn I’ll actually dump a few bushels right in the field as the first bit of popcorn enters the grain tank. Leaving a few dollars in the field is better than having a truck almost two hours from home getting rejected.
So Long, Soybeans
Some of the last soybeans on our farm for 2014. After these all that’s left is 110 acres of double crop soybeans we planted after wheat harvest back in July. But right now all the soybeans we planted this spring are in the bin or delivered to town.The last 250 acres of soybeans were all no-till. Here you can see 2013’s corn stalks still standing between the rows of 2014 beans.
We Still Have Wet Soils
Just because the weather has been good doesn’t mean everything has dried out. We’ve been in all our corn fields except for one, but we haven’t finished any of them. Either the corn was too wet and/or the ground was too wet. There are six acres left in this 280 acre field. The final stretch was just too wet to drive on. I had to call the grain cart to come unload me here because I was too heavy to get out on my own. Even empty it was a struggle to get out without assistance. Notice how mud completely packed the space between the front dual tires. Looking closer will show why the last step of the ladder hangs from two flexible pieces instead of metal. I was pretty close to dragging in on the ground here.
Headed into next week we are looking to knock out the rest of popcorn harvest. We should make a good dent on Monday. Rain in the forecast Tuesday. We’ll just have to see how much we get and go from there. A shower now isn’t all bad. We had 300 acres of cereal rye aerial applied into standing corn for a cover crop. A rain now would be perfect for getting that seed going. Stay tuned!