Lefebure.com / Farming / 2007 / September 2007

The machine that had been running soybeans got switched over to corn, and we started in on another field that is put right in the bin. Unfortunately that field also has some spots where the wind flattened the corn, so it is going to be time consuming there. It started raining around 5 PM, so we're shut down for a day or two.
We've been working on some corn below 18% moisture, moved to another field, and we're back into 20% corn. Decided to try a different field, which was at 17%. FYI, the longer it stands in the field, the dryer it gets naturally, and it needs to be at about 15% or less to store in a bin. We also worked on soybeans today, but we're now done with the beans that are ripe. I tried the next field, and while the pods are mostly dry, the stems are terrible green. Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow afternoon, so maybe we'll just forget about soybeans for a few days.

Yesterday and today were more of the same: 7 rows of corn one way, and soybeans with the other machine.


It rained a little yesterday afternoon, so not much happened except for picking corn for a few hours in the morning. Today we figured the down corn wouldn't dry out any time soon, so we picked some corn in a field that was standing. The stalk chopper stayed busy today. Soybeans might go tomorrow afternoon if we get some sun and wind.

Spent some time in the stalk chopper today.

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Stalk Chopping, The interior of a MX215

We got rolling this morning around 10 AM. For those of you that are unaware of it, in the world of agriculture, there are two types of days: sunny days and rainy days. There are no weekdays or weekends - mother nature does not care what the calendar says. The weather was excellent today. One machine was in corn, and we finally found some below 19% moisture. The other machine was in soybeans, which are yielding mostly in the 60s, with one yield check at 70 bu/ac. Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow night.

It rained over an inch at my house, but only about two tenths of an inch where the combines are, which is like a really heavy dew. We started in on both corn and soybeans today after lunch.

"Rain" is a four letter word that is common, but sometimes shows up at less favorable times than others. 6:30 tonight was one of those times. Well, at least it will help even out the soybeans, which have both dry beans and green pods yet. We worked on soybeans this afternoon, kept working on some down corn, and had the stalk chopper going for a while too. The corn field we're in is less than pleasant, but it could be a lot worse. At least we're finding decent corn in there, which makes the 1-2 MPH, 6-7 rows, one way driving a little more tolerable. Since it rained tonight, I'm not sure we'll be able to do much tomorrow.

There are two pictures below showing a close up of soybeans. The little hairs on the pods and stems fall off when they go through the combine. The dust you see coming out the back of the combine is mostly those little hairs. The dust doesn't really cause you to itch, but if you get some in your eyes, it does feel like you have dry eyes.

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Picking 7 rows of twisted corn.
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Soybeans - the first field

We're back into a field of corn that was really tangled up from the wind. We're picking it going only one direction, sometimes 7 rows at a time since it is hard to see where the rows are. We also started on the soybeans today.

We ran corn again today, and it rained this evening. I've seen a few other people in the area working on soybeans the past couple days. We're quickly running out of corn that is mature enough to combine - it just isn't coming off the cob real well yet. We'll probably switch over to soybeans after they dry up. That might only be a day or two because it is unusually warm this week.

Finished one field this afternoon, bit into another field that has some serious wind damage, and promptly gave up on that for a while. While it is dry enough (and NEEDs to be picked), the cobs are just too rubbery and we can't get the corn off the cob. Tried another field without as much wind damage, and again, rubbery cobs. This stuff just isn't mature yet, even though it is relatively dry. The soybeans are looking better by the day; that frost the other night really accelerated them.

The night before last, we did get a frost. It really hurt the late soybeans that were still green and had a full canopy. Yesterday turned out to be decent day though, so we ran some more corn. Today was even better, getting back to around 70 degrees. Beautiful weather for September. Corn is still around 21% moisture, and we have yet to see anything yield less than 200 bu/ac. We haven't picked up any of the down corn yet though, so that may be a not-so-pleasant surprise. I shot a couple video today, the second one being a rather unusual camera angle.

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Harvesting Corn 1
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Harvesting Corn 2 (Top View)

We got into a different hybrid which was tangled up by some wind earlier this year. It wasn't completely flat, but it was hard to see where the rows were sometimes. The corn reel doesn't help in these condtions, and I don't think anything would. Frost is expected tonight, and it will be cold enough tomorrow that we might just take the day off. It is supposed to be back above 80 degrees next week. The amount of LP the drier drinks on a cold day is considerably higher than when the ambient temperature is 80 degrees.

Corn is still looking good. The drier is our limiting factor right now, so the combine only runs for a couple hours at a time. We've also been having issues with the yield monitor on that machine - it doesn't want to calculate distance which is critical in determining yield. We're going to swap in a different monitor to see if if is a monitor or sensor issue. The soybeans are still two weeks away from being ready.

Today marks the start of Harvest 2007. The corn is running about 20% moisture and is yielding a bit higher than I had expected. We filled the drier and got it fired up. I was in the 5250, pulling a 500 bu wagon, and stopped in some low ground to top off the wagon. It sunk in just enough that I couldn't pull it out. Ended up swapping with a bigger tractor that was on another wagon to get things going again. The corn in this field was planted early, and it is standing great. We aren't using the corn reel at all in this field.

55 degrees and rain today. I even wore a jacket today, the first time in a long time. I haven't been posting much recently as there just isn't much to write about. Soon that will change. This is like the calm before the storm.
Last night it rained some more, and I got almost 2" here. After a couple trips to town to get the correct fittings, we finished plumbing in the hydraulics for the corn reel. We also got the 1020 flex heads out of the shed today and went through the sickles to replace some of the knives. Soybeans are at least two weeks away, but free time will become much more scarce next week after we start in on the corn harvest. In this part of the world, we will start harvesting corn, then once the soybeans get ripe, we switch the combines over to soybeans. That probably takes 10 full days of cutting, then we switch back to corn.

Today was nice Ė a lot cooler than yesterday. A storm rolled in this afternoon, and it poured at the main farm. I live 5 miles away, and it never rained here. The corn reel is now assembled, but we have to plumb the hydraulics in yet. It looks like that will be a challenge, as the kit came with hoses that were too long, and it didnít come with the right fittings for our 2208 header. Iím guessing the kit is generic and will go on any brand of corn head. For anyone that is planning to put one of these kits together, the diagrams are of far more value than the written instructions, and you will need a day or two.
One of the neighbors cut some corn yesterday, but I have no idea of yields or moisture. There is probably some yield gossip going around at the local elevator, but who knows how accurate that is. Besides, it isn't any of my business. Personally, I have yet to see anything harvested. Today it was hot. It was over 90 degrees, full sun, and about a 20 MPH wind. I'm sure that took some moisture out of the corn. The corn reel also showed up today. Holy cow, that looks like a jig-saw puzzle made out of steel.

The grain bin project was finished today. The tasks you don't get to see in the pictures include: putting tar around the edges to keep water out, set the cooling fan, position the unload auger, assemble the floor panels, get electricity to the bin, and wire up the spreader, fan, and unload aguer.

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