Thursday, October 23, 2014

Taking a Corn Sample

The world has turned brown and dusty in GriggsDakota. The fields are mostly empty now, except for the cornfields.  Farmer Fred is driving the combine down the road to a cornfield to see if we can continue combining. The head, or front cutting portion of the combine, has been changed to a corn head. Some of the combine settings are adjusted to remove the corn kernels from the cobs. 
 It's a busy time of year and the field access roads carry a bit of truck and machinery traffic. Although you don't really expect to meet someone on an old dirt trail, our neighbors are combining so Farmer Fred pulls over to let the truck pass.  Note that there is a fold down ladder on the back of the combine.
  He then pulls onto the cornfield. We are going to get a sample to take to the elevator. Yesterday's post explained about the moisture level of the corn. We will have to dry this crop, it is just a question of how much and what method of drying we need to do. Corn is grown in rows and each row goes into a slot on the header to be cut and harvested.
It is windy and the corn trash is blowing around so much that it reminds me of a snowstorm. We have been lucky in that department so far in October. No snow has fallen. 
When enough corn has been combined for a reasonable sampling of the field, Farmer Fred climbs up the aforementioned ladder with an empty oatmeal carton tucked inside his jacket. He then climbs into the hopper. Don't worry, the combine has been completely shut down.  
He disappears momentarily while he fills the container and tucks it back in his jacket. Then he climbs out and down. 
We are going to take the sample to be moisture tested at the elevator. On the way, we check out the sample and are optimistic. 
Optimism proves true. The moisture is 20.5%. We will dry the corn partially in the grain dryer, then transfer it to a bin. In the bin the corn will cool and finish drying by blowing air through the corn in the bin with fans. That will bring the moisture content down to 14.5% which is a safe storage level and the corn will be ready for a trip to the elevator.
Corn Harvest begins in GriggsDakota.

No comments:

Post a Comment