Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Golden Sunshine, Golden Wheat Harvest Continues

I heard the combine driving up the hill.
 Soon it was leading a parade that I decided to join.
On the back of the grain cart, we have attached a heavy tow rope. We know there is a good chance that the combine will get stuck today, so we keep it handy. We have attached cables to the combine, so hooking up the 9170 tractor to pull it out will be a simpler operation. Please note that I did not say a simple operation, just simpler.
When I arrived on the road by the Wheat field, Farmer Fred invited me to ride along while he went out to collect a sample.  
The pickup has been down the muddy trail before. It is an adventure to get out to the hills. 
There was a nice wind blowing today. That makes for better dry down in the field. 
Seeing dust blowing around is a relief. It means that the wheat is probably dry enough to combine. 
The ground is wet, even on the hills, where in some spots water seeps right out of the side of a hill. 
Farmer Fred took his trusty oatmeal box over to the combine to get the sample. Oatmeal boxes are saved all year long and used for various handy purposes.
When a farmer gets a sample of grain, he runs a hand through it to feel the moisture and bites a single seed or two between his teeth. It should feel dry to the touch and crack between his teeth. The doughier the seed, the wetter the grain. We started combining Wheat at 16.2 percent moisture which is not bad considering that it did rain last night. 
The field is wet beneath the golden grain. It is a treacherous place to run a combine. 
 Can you see the water in the tracks?  
The water is overflowing through the tracks, but the entire area is soaked. Grandpa Sonny recalls only one other time that this type of flow has occurred on these hills. Ever, in any season, but never before in August.
There is a lot of wheat that we must leave behind. 
But the day has turned golden. It feels like harvest should and smells of fresh wheat. 
There aren't very many grasshoppers this year, but I felt much better about finding him in the field than the frogs I found last week.
 The Case IH 2388 combine has dual tires on the front which spreads the load of the heavy header and hopper. The machine naturally gets heavier as the hopper fills with grain. The extra tires allow more traction on the ground.
It also has rear wheel assist that is somewhat like four wheel drive in a vehicle. It gives a little extra push and stability to the combine as it sinks in the mud.
Robbie is standing by with the grain cart and the lonely truck had to stay on the road.
Mudding our way back to the road was fun. Honestly the mud is so deep on the trail that we never hit bottom. We hit it fast, can't see a thing for a few seconds, and come out on the other side. If we hit bottom, we would be stuck down deep.
The combine was only stuck once today, which meant two things: The operator was very careful and we left a lot of grain behind. 
He wisely takes a route around the deepest mud as he exits the field. If the ground dries up, we may be able to come back and pick up more wheat. We will be watching.
The tires tell the story as we leave the field and head for home. 


  1. Beautiful images as always. Just read KP's post about her dad's birthday. It was so sweet! Please give Fred my best happy belated birthday wishes!

  2. What gorgeous photos you have :) My allergies are almost acting up just looking at them though!

  3. Coley,
    Check back in a few days. If we're lucky, barley harvest will start soon. Straight combining barley can be an allergy problem!

    Farmer Fred