Friday, September 28, 2012

The Start of the Finish

 We're hauling grain for a couple of days in preparation for corn harvest.
 We will store most of our corn on the farm, at least temporarily, to avoid the long waits at the elevator.
It feels a bit like the calm before the final storm of the season...corn harvest. 
It is early for corn harvest in GriggsDakota. We have had more heat this year and less moisture, so there is a crop in the fields that is ready to harvest. 
Some area farms have started combining corn. Corn is bulky and takes up space. There are already piles on the ground of GreaterDakota elevators. 
We plan to start the finish next week, corn harvest in GriggsDakota.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Officially Soybeans

The soybeans have been harvested in perfect weather. This is not the usual scenario in GriggsDakota. We are infamous for our less than perfect weather. Click Here to see our 2009 soybean crop covered with October snow.
It seems as if we are able to race from one field to the next. 
Our combines cut pieces and eat up the dry, leafless soybean plants. Looking back it seems that Summer passed quickly. There has been so little rain that we are glad and somewhat surprised to have a crop to harvest.
The harvested crop can be unloaded from the combine to the grain cart as the combine continues to cut the soybean plants and remove the beans from the pods. We call this "unloading on the go." It saves time which in a precious commodity during harvest.
It takes a steady hand and a keen eye to operate the grain cart. The combine driver keeps his header on the edge of the standing plants. The two machines are inches apart. When the combine hopper is empty, the driver turns off the unloading auger and folds it back as Jake pulls away with the grain cart to fill a truck. The truck transports the crop out of the field.
 I cannot recall a stretch of weather this dry. Our Fall days have been picture perfect.
As long as there is grain in the field we try not to think about rain. 
Farmers know this: The weather is whatever comes. 
 Today we are pleased to announce 
That except for a few little spills that we hope the deer will find, 
The soybean fields are empty. We officially have soybeans in the bins of GriggsDakota.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Just a bit of Springtime

We set our combine sieves to allow fine kernels of barley to fall back to the ground as we harvest. Because of our dry Summer, we had a heavy regrowth after our early harvest. 
 I noticed a few weeks ago that the barley was heading. It seemed as if it may produce a second crop. 
The barley seems to want to start over.
"I wish I was 18, again. And going where I've never been, but old folks and old oaks standing tall, just pretend. I wish I was 18, again." (lyrics by Sonny Throckmorton)
 It has not rained since then, so although there are heads out in the field, they are the exception.
The barley field will not have another chance to produce this season.
Mostly there is just tired looking barley plants in the field. 
It has been good for the field to have the growth during our dusty season. Even if the barley had matured, it would have not been much good. The seed was rejected crop.
The growth is valuable, it has protected the land.
 The field is a breath of Spring in our Fall, if you don't look too closely.
There is the joy of a fresh start on a mature landscape.
The corn is waiting its turn for harvest nearby in GriggsDakota.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

We Found a Magic Dragon's Foot

Cattleman Jim took the rock nabber out and unearthed  what looked to be a petrified dragon's foot.
In GriggsDakota we think Rocks are like Boogers, but this one held magic. It left a crater the size of a full moon in the field. It is surely a petrified dragon's foot, with toes.
This dragon's foot was too heavy to carry away with the rock nabber, so we had to go home and get a chain to drag it to the trees. 
 You can see by the path that it scraped into the ground that a dragon's foot is extremely heavy.
 We know for sure that this petrified dragon's foot was enchanted, because when we entered the woods it changed.
The dragon's foot became a stage for a visiting artist. 
 I watched a magical dance performance. 
Suddenly she noticed a big bug on the stage and refused to continue until it was removed, by the stage hand.
After that startling development she had the courage to continue and complete her afternoon of entertainment. The show must go on, and so it did on the magical stage on an enchanted September afternoon.
It was exhausting and the artist fell asleep in the pickup on her way home. 
The Ag Analyst makes every day an adventure in GriggsDakota.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Arrives With Cold Sunshine

We continued our soybean harvest in the sunshine. The bottom dropped out of the temperature and we had a killing frost as Fall made its formal appearance. 
The Ag Analyst thought the hunters did good work. There is no rain forecast, so harvest continues in GriggsDakota.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Corn Grew Tall

Farmer Fred wandered into the corn field to check things out. 
It was trying to rain, without much success, but it seemed to at least wash the air and settle the dust. Maybe it didn't settle all of the dust, but it helped for a few minutes. 
 The corn in this field is over 10 feet tall.
 The cobs are well formed, ripe and well distributed.
After the dry Summer that we have had, it is amazing. The kernels are not as large and probably not as heavy as they could have been with ample moisture. However, the fact that the cobs are full of kernels to the tip of the cob is remarkable.  
Except in areas where the deer have run through, the corn is standing up well. We are also pleased with the lack of weeds in the field.  
Although it is cool, we have not had a frost and there is not one forecast. When the soybeans are finished, the corn will be waiting. Dry corn in September is a bonus in GriggsDakota.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cattle on Bean Stubble

The cattle are grazing pinto bean stubble. 
There is a purposeful feeling as I watched the cattle. 
Much of the pastureland looks tired this time of year and this year in particular. 
Cattleman Jim has implemented a cell grazing plan. 
This helps keep the grass fresher. 
 Our cows are not suffering, although some of the pastures have dry water holes.
 The striped appearance of the pinto bean field is a feature of Fall in GriggsDakota.
The Pickett-One-Step cuts the plants near the ground and folds them into a swath. 
 Two swaths are laid side by side which is fed through the combine.
The girls didn't appreciate my intrusion and began to move away. 
The resulting residue, made up of husks, vines, leaves and dropped beans are a treat for the cattle. 
The cool evenings must be a relief for the cattle.  
There is peace in the pasture of GriggsDakota.