Fall Photo Series #7
Yesterday I went up to Ledyard to take some photos of the fall corn harvest. Before we went out we had a delicious lunch of roast beef, with potatoes and carrots, gravy, cole slaw, bread and butter, and apple crisp for desert.
It was so windy that we had to wait for a break in the wind to open the huge doors on the machine shed to get the combine out. A quick inspection revealed it was in good working order.
I rode for a few passes in the cab.
Our Man In The Field kept a sharp eye on the ground. You have to constantly adjust the height of the picker so that it doesn't run into the ground. You also have to adjust the speed almost constantly so that the picker doesn't get behind. Thank goodness for the hydrostatic drive.
What wasn't obvious to me before actually participating in the harvest is that the combine is just the eagle of the harvest. There are lots and lots of field mice running around making things work. The entire time the combine is running, another tractor needs to be hauling grain away from the field. Here one is sneaking up behind us, piloted by none other than the Old Man In The Field.
If you want to shoot a lot of pheasants, stand at the end of the row as the combine comes out. Oftentimes a pheasant will fly out.
At the end of each row the combine has to dump corn into wagons.
This process goes surprisingly quickly. (Yes that is Buzzy's Farm in the background, and yes that is productive work going on in the foreground.)
It takes about 3 passes through that particular section of the field to fill a 275 bushel wagon. Once it is full, the wagon is hooked to a tractor and pulled over to the elevator.
You have to regulate the corn flow coming out of the wagon by turning a wheel that opens a door. You can't have too much or the auger will overflow. You can't have too little either, or the auger will shake and cause damage over time.
You have to watch carefully so that the wagon doesn't empty and leave the auger with no corn. If there is no corn and the auger is running it will vibrate and cause more wear and tear. A hint that the wagon is getting low is that corn husks and cobs will start coming out of the wagon. The lighter stuff is on top after all.
We worked about 4 1/2 hours and got 8 wagonloads of corn into the bin. All were pleased. For dinner we had some tasty chili and a sampling of my homebrews.