Above: We have started combining corn under blue skies with temperatures 20 degrees Fahrenheit above normal highs for the day. The corn is wet and will all have to go through the dryer before it will be ready for safe storage or sale.
Above: The combine is now sporting a corn head. This one strips the corn cobs from the corn stalks about ten inches from the ground. Notice the hopper is full of corn!
Above: Robbie pulls up alongside of the combine unload the hopper without stopping the harvest. Corn is a high yielding crop and unloading on the go greatly improves efficiency.
Above: From the field the corn will be transported to the bin site where it will undergo the drying process.
Above: We have decided to combine the corn despite the high moisture content. Some farmers will wait and let it dry in the field even if it means leaving it until Spring. Why are we harvesting now? The simple answer is because we can. We have the dryer and the weather is cooperating this week. We have finished our soybeans and our edible beans are nearly done. Other considerations are losses to the yield that are likely to occur when the corn is left in the field. Although stalk strength is bred into modern corn varieties, the stand ability is affected by the growing conditions of each season. Heavy snow and driving winds take a toll on a corn crop in the field and that change of seasons could happen at any time in GriggsDakota. We don't have the manpower to run a harvest crew when we should be planting our 2010 crop. It is pleasant and possible to get the corn done this week and so we shall.
Above: When corn is ripe, it drops its ears. The brown silks become tails and what was the base of the ear appears to be the head of a parasite sucking the life out of the stalk. It bears little resemblance to the beautiful green of a summertime corn field.
Above: The combine is spewing some dust which means the stalks are dry enough to process well.
Above: There is some grain left in the field which is true in all harvesting. The cobs on this photo were cut by the header and missed the opportunity to be combined. The corn left on the cob is called "header loss." They likely were hanging lower than the header was cutting when it passed and did not run through the combine.
Above: Most of the cobs are stripped clean by the combine. This is what is left in the field behind a properly set combine.
Above: A view through the pine trees gave a tropical feeling to this photo. Not bad for November in GriggsDakota!