Lefebure.com / Farming / 2007 / October 2007



YouTube Video
Picking some more corn


The local CIH dealer brought out a 7010 today for a demo, and it is quite a beast. Driving some new red iron is always an enjoyable experience for me. The 12 row head doesn't exactly mesh with our 16 row planter, but it was planted straight enough that for a few acres, it was just fine. I found there are a lot of hidden features, such as the new "alt" button on the back of the hand grip. Press that while pressing the RES button, and the header will come up high enough to stop counting acres. No more holding the up button until the head is high enough to cross a waterway.

YouTube Video
Inside a 7010 Combine

Back to corn today, and we split the machines up. One was loading trucks for delivery direct to town, the other was picking corn going to our dryer and into storage. Moisture is running about 16.5%.

We finished up the last 80 acres of soybeans today, which is always a milestone every harvest season. Potential wet weather doesn’t affect corn as much, no more swapping headers around, no more resetting the chopper, rotor, sieve, and feeder-house settings.


Back in the swing of things here again, picking corn. Some of the fields have some mud in them, and the wet spots on the sides of a hill are especially fun. The combine and grain cart will start sliding down hill a few feet, which makes it rather difficult to stay on the rows you're trying to combine.

No local updates for the last few days. I just got back from a short vacation to MN where I visited Johnson Harvesting. Tom from Austria (who does the blog of Harvest in Europe) was in the states visiting as well. Lots of big iron, and the scenery in MN is absolutely beautiful this time of year. The water pictures are from Lake Itasca, which is the headwaters of the Mississippi river.

We were able to cut a few semi loads of corn today, but it was pretty wet out there. It's raining again tonight though.

The last time we cut anything was on the 12th, because it has been raining off and on since then. This afternoon was nice, but it's raining again tonight. Our fields are wet. We still have about one full day worth of soybeans to cut, but those are definately a few days off now. On the plus side, we haven't cut any beans below 10% moisture this year. Seems there is always a bright side, even on a rainy day.

Side note for the non-soybean people: Soybeans are only cut if you can get them out of the pods, and are below about 16% moisture at the most. They need to be about 13% to store without spoiling, and 13% is also the limit accepted by most soybean processing plants. Soybeans between 16 and 13 can be put in a bin with an "air floor" which has a fan to blow air through the beans and dry them some more. If we deliver soybeans above 13%, we will get a dockage on them, which is mathmatically shrinking the moisture out of them, plus a little more as a fine for delivering wet soybeans. However, there is no reverse-pencil-shrink for soybeans below 13%. In that case, as the moisture evaporates, the beans all shrink, and thus the number of bushels is reduced. In the past we've harvested soybeans as low as 7-8% moisture, which means we're loosing bushels just because of evaporation.
Woke up to a light mist of rain this morning, and it is cool and cloudy. Unless it magically gets to 80 degrees with wind, we won't cut soybeans today. Rain is in the forecast for the next 4 days, so we moved the machines back home. It's time to do some maintenance anyway, such as cleaning out air filters and tightening chains.

We ran until 11:30 PM tonight, and the dew was already setting in. We wanted to finish up a field so that we could move the machines several miles in the morning while we're waiting for the dew to dry up. We need to cross a narrow bridge, so it takes extra time for the move. It is nice to not waste time on the road when conditions are good. In this case, one hour tonight is worth two tomorrow.

Note: The first half of the pictures were taken at a farm which also happens to be the set of the 1988 movie "Miles from Home".

Wind all last night, and clouds this morning kept the dew away. We got a nice early start to the day, and things ran pretty well.

Picked a couple truck loads of corn this morning, then switched the machines back over to soybeans. It looks like we'll finally be able to work exclusively on the soybeans until we are done with them. It was afternoon before they were dry enough, and once we did start, one machine broke down. Seems the feederhouse drum came apart at a weld near the center. So after a new drum, a feederhouse chain, and some other red parts, it was running again this evening. Cargill is open tonight until midnight, so we're going to get the trucks dumped yet tonight, and since both combines and the cart were full when we quit, we might be able to deliver one more truck load, yet tonight.

Note: The background of the 4th picture is the town of Norway, IA, which is the set of the 2007 movie "The Final Season".

Tried soybeans about noon today, and they were too wet. It was cloudy and humid, so they won't be drying very fast. We dropped the flex heads, picked up the corn heads again, and started on that again. Probably got 30 acres out before a storm moved in. It is supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow as well. The chisel plow has been rolling lately. The tractor is a STX 385 QuadTrac.

It was noon before we were able to start cutting today. The dew just wasn't drying up. It was very humid, and the temperature got up to 87 degrees today.

We ran corn until about 3PM, then switched over to soybeans. The field we've been working on is within a mile of the local airport, so it can be amusing to watch the planes land and take off.

We got the 'Flows back out again today to get some more corn out. The ground is still pretty wet, but nothing got stuck. The wagons were cutting ruts into the field though. When the front wheels on the wagon don't turn as fast as your grounds speed is, you're right at the limit.

We didn't cut anything yesterday or today. It rained again this afternoon, so tomorrow is probably out too. The corn we'd like to work on isn't standing normally, so it doesn't dry out as fast. This means that it doesn't slide into the header very well, and if there is any water on the leaves, kernels of corn will stick to them and go out the back of the combine.

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