Thursday, September 4, 2014

Combining the Canola Field

This was the day that the nearby canola field was harvested.
Farmer Scott and the crew made short work of it. 
 The canola was swathed weeks ago and left to cure.
When the standing plants ripened and the seeds are fully formed in their pods, canola is swathed.
The canola lays in the swath for weeks while it cures. Moderate rain doesn't damage it during this period. When it is dry, the plant is deteriorated and ready to give up its seed. 
  When the plant has cured and the swath is dry, the field is ready to combine.
 Today was a nearly perfect combining day, breezy and sunny warmth.
In just a few hours the field was empty. 
 The stiff canola stubble remaining in the field has been spread with a mulch of the canola chaff. Canola stubble is useful for catching snow and holding that moisture on the field through the Winter.
There are a few plants left standing along the edge of the field. Notice the pods attached to the stem.
Each pod contains small black canola seeds. The seeds are the only part of the plant that is removed from the field. From the seeds, canola oil is produced. The rest of the plant is chopped by the combine and left in the field.
 As the sun goes down earlier every evening in GriggsDakota.

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