Thursday, August 25, 2011

Barley Harvest Underway

The barley was ripe and ready to harvest as we were finishing the winter wheat.
We are straight cutting it this year, meaning no swathing. The ground is too wet and swathers would not be able to get around the fields. Straight cutting is preferable whenever possible. It eliminates a pass over the field, reducing fuel and machinery costs and there is less chance of the barley sprouting when it is standing on its straw.
We are using our grain cart and keeping the trucks on the edge of the road or in a dry corner of the field near the trail. 
The barley yield has been inconsistent and we attribute that to rain (too much or way too much) and soil type. Sandy soil is producing well this year because of the rain. Some of our better land got bogged down and was less productive. 
The barley was hurt by our July heat and the test weight is low. Everything else looks good. It will probably be accepted as malting barley which is a point of pride in GriggsDakota. 
The wind has blown tree branches off some of the tired old trees in the shelter belt. I jumped out to pull them back into the row, so that the combines can pass unimpeded.
The field edges are treacherous, but if you don't work the field to the edge it becomes a source of weeds on the land.
This field contains more mud and water than we have ever seen here and we have been glad every day for the duals, rear wheel assist and tracks that we have on our combines.
Working the edge of the field means that sometimes the combine sinks into the mud.
After unloading the hopper, the combine was able to drive out of this sticky mess on its own power saving hours of time and frustration.
There has been water for the combines to drive through on every day of harvest.
The grain is going into an air bin, although it is nearly dry enough to store. 
It we have good weather, barley harvest will continue into next week.
But, of course, there is rain in the forecast, so we will wait and see.

1 comment:

  1. I'm calling you next time I need an "amber waves of grain" photo. That first shot was magnificent!