Lefebure.com / Farming / 2007 / November 2007

Delivered some corn today to the local ADM plant, and I brought along my camera. Click here to see satellite images of this place on Google Maps.

Finished the last 100 acres of anhydrous today. The field work for 2007 is now complete.

The anhydrous ammonia (aka: NH3) has been going on every day for about a week now, and it looks like we'll finish up tomorrow. Anyone who has ever been around NH3 knows that it demands respect. For the rest of you, here is the short version. We use NH3 as source of nitrogen, and we only put it on land that will grow corn next year. Soybeans donít benefit from extra nitrogen. From the pictures it just looks like any other process to growing crops, but I promise you that this is some of the nastiest stuff we work with in this industry. It is stored in liquid form (under pressure) in those white tanks. The applicator has a knife that cuts a trench, the NH3 flows into the trench, and then some dirt is pulled back over the top to keep it from evaporating. However, when we lift up to turn around at the ends, the little bit remains in the hoses runs out and evaporates within seconds. The fumes are alright in small doses, but a large quantity of NH3 quickly turns into a cloud that you donít want to be around. NH3 will displace oxygen, so it can suffocate a person. Donít worry though; it has a smell that is strong enough that youíll know something isnít right. Even being downwind from a properly functioning machine is enough to make your nasal passages start to close up. Not only does it stink, but it also smells cold, like colder than Iíve ever breathed in the winter time. This is why NH3 gets a great deal of respect.

YouTube Video
In-cab view of the NH3 bar (sorry for the shakey video)

The corn heads and combines were put away for the year. The last wagons were dumped, their floors painted, and then put in sheds as well. We paint the wear points on the gravity box wagons to prevent rust, so that next year, the grain will slide out of them nicely. The chisel plowing was also finished up in the early hours this morning, and the quad trac is now out putting anhydrous on all the ground that will grow corn next year.

The chisel plowing continues. Otherwise, it was nice to just relax a bit.

YouTube Video
Chisel Plowing with a STX 385 Quad-Trac

Whew! Finished up the corn today, so harvest is officially done for us. That's a nice feeling. I'm going to celebrate by catching up on all the things I've not done since we got started, such as sleeping in, cleaning the house, and mowing the lawn. While harvest is done, the season isn't over. We still have a few hundred acres to chisel plow, then we can start applying anhydrous ammonia.

Today I was working in a field that had been partially flooded earlier this year, and still had standing water in a few places from some rain a couple weeks ago. There seemed to be a good base to the ground, since I wasn't cutting ruts, nor did I even come close to getting the machine stuck. Still, steering in mud can get a little interesting. If you've never driven a combine in mud, they like to slide sideways sometimes, and with the corn head on the opposite end from the steering axle, trying to compensate for the sideways drift can be a challenge in certain conditions.

© 2024 Lefebure.com