Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Feeding America, Day 6 of Harvest 2011

Well my friends, after moving back down to the Tammany farm, we again got "greened out", which is farmer lingo for wheat that has too high a moisture count for the grain terminals to accept it.  That definitely puts a crimp in our harvest plans for the day.  So Tuesday, August 16 we will not be harvesting and the crew will spray Round-up on weeds, cut thistles and other odd projects while we wait and hope for the grain to ripen a bit more and the moisture count to reach the acceptable level.  Farmer Joe was saying he didn't know who was more frustrated, the farmers or the grain elevator staff, as the farmers want to harvest their crops and the grain terminal staff have the difficult task of holding their ground and not accepting wheat that is above the moisture ceiling level, which is 13%.  At the grain elevators, each truck load is carefully tested for its moisture content and no one wants to return back to the field with a loaded truck because the warehouse will not accept the grain, but that is sometimes the case (but it is rare). (To clarify -  depending on the grain terminal, they usually will accept the grain that is above moisture count, but the farmer will get docked {sort of like a really stiff "discount"}, our combines have the technology to determine the moisture count so we are aware of  the moisture content of the grain).  The reasons why terminals don't want to accept moist grain is to protect their wheat inventory from rotting, bugs or fire as moist grain can mold, or create a bug infestation, as well produce heat and become combustible.  So it was a frustrating and disappointing day for all, but as Scarlett O'Hara says, tomorrow is another day.

From my Twitter account, I just came across a YouTube video of the Urban Wheat Harvest project that we participated in last year in Washington DC. This was to help educate urban America how a wheat plant develops and shows the stages of wheat and how it ends up in products you find in a grocery store, this project was sponsored by WheatWorld, so take a look and enjoy.

As always, thanks for stopping by and email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com or post a comment. All my best,  Gayle


  1. Hi Gayle! Love your blog and all the information. Sorry to hear about the delays but I'm sure things will be better in the days ahead. Forcast is calling for warmer weather this week! Keep up with the updates! You've got a fan here in Boise!

  2. Well thanks so much & glad you enjoy the blog. You made my day.

  3. Hi Gayle,

    I just wanted to ask what happens when a truckload of grain is rejected by the elevator? Do you have a way of drying it out, or do you have to write it off? And how much is a truckload of grain worth at current prices?

    Over here in th UK, my husband comes from a farm family (he got out as soon as he could) and because of the weather, the moisture content of the grain is very often too high at harvest time. His family had a system rigged up with a big metal cage lined with burlap and a big fan. Not sure if this is typical over in these parts, or just my father-in-law's resourcefulness.

  4. Hi Loree,

    A rejected truckload is less common with semi trucks & the technology is on the combines that help the farmer to know what his moisture count is coming in at. It is rare, but sometimes a truck can be rejected (more common a few years ago), then the farmer must dry his own grain out - thru a grain dryer or by aerating it manually. The price of grain & the variety varies by the market price of that day, but the farmer wouldn't have to take a loss.