Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Feeding America, Day 12 of Harvest 2011

Farmers are not immune from having "one of those days"  as  Farmer Joe discovered an oil leak on his combine and missing fan belts on the semi truck during the routine maintenance checks and cleaning. The combine dealership didn't have the parts needed to repair the oil leak, so they had to be ordered (not something a farmer wants to hear during harvest), but luckily it was not a major issue at this point and Farmer Joe decided he could run the combine as it was.  Farmer Jay stayed behind and got the semi equipped with new fan belts.... so we were able to get in the field late morning.

Above is the video of Farmer Joe with the air hose
blowing out all the dust and wheat chaff that collects
during the day.  A daily cleaning is needed to ensure the
chaff doesn't catch on fire.

The panel sides of the combine lift up and/or out for
access to the insides of the combine. Lots of nooks & crannies
to blow the wheat chaff out

Fan belts needed to be replaced on the semi

As Farmer Joe was harvesting right around our house, I rode in the cab with him a good part of the morning.  My voice doesn't carry as well as his so many of my comments may be  hard to hear.  To show you what is is like being in a combine on a steep hillside, I did a short film clip and was holding the camera level.  The combine is a self leveling one for the rolling hills in our area.  
A view of the combine reel/header in the wheat field

In this video (above) I was explaining the the "fingers" on the reel of the header scoop the wheat in, then feed it into the rolling "auger" and as the wheat goes through the combine, the chaff gets spit out the back and the wheat kernels go into the bulk tank and a window is in the back of the cab (so you can see it falling in).
A  view from inside the cab watching as the tractor & grain cart
are heading our way so we can unload the combine on the go

Unloading on the go, means that the combine doesn't have to stop and unload it's grain and the tractor driver (Ryan) matches speed with the combine so the farmer can fill the grain cart while continuing to harvest.

The picture below (altho blurry) is of a big hawk.  We will see hawks, owls and coyote follow our machines out in the field because they know once the machine passes through the wheat, that it exposes mice and it makes for "easy pickins".
The black spot is a hawk in the field
As always, thanks for stopping by.  Email me at if you have questions or comments. (Or post a comment as well)  All my best, Gayle

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