Harvest 2014 is in the books!

Wow, as I am writing this it is 11 degrees outside with an eight below wind chill factor and a ground blizzard! It is hard to believe that a little over one week ago we were outside washing equipment at the completion of harvest! I am definitely not ready for winter. I'm hoping we still get a nice day or two but with lows in the single digits and highs in the teens or 20's, I might be a bit optimistic!  

I would love to hear your Harvest 2014 stories! For me, it felt like this year harvest really dragged on. We started beans October 10, which is a little later than normal for us. If we are lucky, we are able to start the last week in September and be done by the first or second week of October. But a late spring and a cool summer didn't allow for us to make up any time in their maturity. Bean harvest lasted until Oct 23 and it was painful. For those of you who aren't familiar with soybeans, they are a bit finicky to harvest. Any moisture in the air will get picked up by the stems and the beans. You can be harvesting the day before at the right moisture, and the next day you attempt to harvest the exact same field and find the soybeans have picked up 1-2 points of moisture. The soybean stalks also pick up moisture and get too tough to process through the combine correctly. There is nothing to do but wait or plug your combine. We chose to wait and wait we did! Many days we would attempt to start about noon but not be able to go until 3-4 pm. A couple semi loads later and we would have to stop again. You don't get much done that way! I did have lots of quality time in the grain cart though and as you can see I had a few helpers too. I love that my kids get to experience harvest and the farm life! 

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Corn harvest started Oct 24 and lasted through Nov 8. Corn harvest went pretty much as expected however; we did fight long lines at the elevator. At its peak, my husband waited almost three hours in line to dump 800 bushels. In comparison, it only takes us about 30 minutes to combine 800 bushels. The delay was caused by how wet the corn was this year which leads to extended drying time. Ideally, we would haul in corn at 18% moisture or below, and the elevator will dry it to 15%. Unfortunately we hauled in 22-24% moisture corn, and so did everyone else. The elevator just couldn't keep up.

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As usual, Harvest 2014 also came with its share of mechanical issues. We have fought an electrical issue in the combine for two years and thought we had it solved. It reared its ugly head again and caused a few scratched heads wondering what it was and few headaches to go along with it.  It also seemed to be the year of the flat tire - both on the semi and the small tractor that hauls wagons. Thankfully, our prayers for safety for all involved were answered and everyone was okay!

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I wish I could explain the feeling I get when I start harvesting. It is a feeling of excitement and anticipation to finally get started. And it is also part awe that I am fortunate to be a part of growing the world's safest and most abundant food supply. We truly are blessed. Life is good.   And now it is time to get back to a normal routine, and clean my house! 

Lisa is a farm gal who took a break for the city and is now back on the farm in Iowa! She will be joining us to share her challenges being back on the farm as well as some fun stories about getting back into the farm life.

related topics: farming, agriculture, farm gal, mom, harvest

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