Thursday, August 14, 2014

Plugging the Combine

This is a farmer's favorite time of year. 
Harvesting beautiful swaths of barley is what we work for through the seasons. 
When I arrived in the field, the combine was stopped. 
 The grain cart was parked nearby.
 The truck was parked, lonely and forlorn, across the field.
These are the tell tale signs of trouble with the combine. 
 If any other piece of equipment was causing trouble, the combine would still be moving.
 The only reason this machine would be stopped on a field that is ready to harvest is that the combine cannot go. In this case, it is plugged with barley.
Farmer Fred was doing the opening round when the plugging occurred. The edge of the field often tougher to combine with some weeds and green plants. Speed can be an enemy. 
 In most cases, the plug in the front end is removed by hand, sometimes just a few straws at a time. Little by little, with turning and pulling and patience, the barley plug is loosened. 
 The engine is started and the grain begins to move.
 Success! Farmer Fred can continue combining.
Soon the hopper on the combine is full and we unload into the grain cart. 
A farmer never tires of the sight of harvested grain. 
This is nearly perfect malting barley raised on contract with Anheuser Busch. 
As the combine hopper empties, Farmer Fred begins to combine the ripening fields of GriggsDakota.

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