Thursday, August 1, 2013

Harvest 2013 begins

 On this day I am never certain, is this the beginning of the end?
Or, is it the end of the beginning? 
 In either case, our crop is ripening.
As the barley goes into swaths, the season of harvest begins. 
Swathers cut the barley straw near the ground. 
The swather folds it into rows where the barley rests until dry enough to combine.
While the barley is down, we hope for sunshine and wind with no rain.
This barley is being raised for seed. It must not sprout, which would make it unsuitable for use as seed.  
This photo is taken of the swath from the ground underneath. Notice that on the left, which is toward the middle of the swath, no light passes through as it does on the right, which is the edge of the swath. 
To check a drying swath, one must check underneath the swath to feel the moisture level.
As usual, we could not begin harvest without a bit of trouble in the field, but all things considered, it was very little trouble.
When the day ends, the swather is raised from its cutting position.
 This resulted in heads of barley being caught in the sickle. 
Notice that some of the heads have a green tint while others appear ripe. The time in the swath will allow the kernels to become more evenly dry. 
 We have rounded the corner into harvest.
Which makes the farmers smile in GriggsDakota.


  1. Absolutely magnificent and informative stuff here Jane - you look to be having perfect weather for it - long may it continue.

  2. Your photos are beautiful. Are you a professional photographer on the side? If not, perhaps you should consider it. Simply spectacular.

  3. Love this post! Your photos of the barley are beautiful! We straight combine our barley and field pea mixture, so I was unfamiliar with the swathing process. Thank you!

  4. Beautiful Photos!! A different view of harvest. Thanks!