Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Farmer During Harvest

08.24.2010 This blog has been updated with 2 short video clips
I tagged along with Joe to show you what a day during harvest looks like.  Ours started out with a few sprinkles of rain, so we didn't get into the field until 1:00pm.  The day is usually started around 6:30am-7:00am, so we enjoyed the morning by reading the paper, having coffee and then getting a call from our 4 yoa grand-angel inviting us into breakfast at their house. =) Yummm.

As you can see the clouds were still hanging around and it is cool and windy, about 63 degrees.  Joe is on top of his combine blowing off the wheat chaff and dust.  This practice helps eliminate a possible fire, which the danger of that is always present as their is plenty of dust and wheat chaff that forms on the combine.

Joe on top of his combine blowing off wheat chaff

More wheat chaff and dust being blown off ( you always
want to be upwind when this is occurring)

Cutting wheat with a 40' header
Climbing up into the combine I take my seat next to Joe and watch as the wheat goes through the header which then goes into the bulk tank.  For the passenger, watching the wheat get thrashed in the header is very mesmerizing, sort of like watching a fire in the fireplace. 

The monitor in the cab

 This combine has a monitor that provides all sorts of info, like the one above that gives a picture of the field where Joe's combine had harvested the day before.

A view of what is seen while cutting from the cab

A view from the cab, the wheat chaff makes it dusty
Cutting wheat is dusty and there is chaff flying all over, so above is what it looks like as the header is cutting the wheat. 

Looking into the bulk tank from the cab back window

Loading on the go from the combine into
the bank-out wagon
Above is a picture I snapped as the bank-out wagon pulls up along side the combine and we are dumping the grain into the cart. 

Short video clip of unloading the grain from the combine into the bank-out wagon.  The combine usually needs to unload the bulk tank about every 12 minutes, so  by " unloading on the go" it saves approximately 2 minutes harvest time every 12-15 minutes.

Loading the grain from the bank-out wagon cart
into the semi
The bank-out driver, Erin, then unloads the cart into one of the semi-trucks.

The truck arrives on the scale fully loaded with wheat
 Next I hop into the semi that Cody, our hired man, is driving and go into town with him to dump the grain at the co-op. Above is Cody pulling onto the scales to get weighed fully loaded.

Cody opening the valves so the grain can go into
the pit at Pacific Northwest Co-op
Once the truck is in the correct spot at the warehouse pit, Cody opens the bottom of the grain trailer where the grain drains into the pit. 
The warehouse man collecting a grain sample

Here is a short video clip of unloading at the warehouse.


The warehouse man takes a sample of the grain for testing. The wheat gets tested for moisture, test weight and grade, checking for sprouted wheat heads, dockage and  a falling numbers test.    

Waiting line to dump the grain at the PNW Farm co-op

The empty semi getting re-weighed
 The empty truck then goes back to the scale to get re-weighed and at that time is when Cody gives the wheat sample to the  person inside the scale house.  Then it's back out to the field again where another semi is loaded and ready to go!  This is what we do to feed America.  As I've said before, farmers are ordinary people who have an extraordinary job to do.